Kleier defends Australian PBR crown

Clermont bull riders take out national championship, rookie titles

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Aaron Kleier receives his championship buckle at the conclusion of the grand final in Townsville. Picture - Elise Derwin.

Aaron Kleier receives his championship buckle at the conclusion of the grand final in Townsville. Picture - Elise Derwin.

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Aaron Kleier has defended his PBR crown, becoming the national bull-riding champion for the second year in a row.

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Aaron Kleier has defended his PBR crown, becoming the national bull-riding champion for the second year in a row.

Together with 19-year-old Brady Fielder, who was named the 2019 PBR Rookie of the Year at the grand final in Townsville on the weekend, the pair have given their home town Clermont a deserved reputation for bull-bucking supremacy.

While the event honours at the weekend went to Hunter Valley rider Lachlan Richardson with 2018 world champion, Brazilian Kaique Pacheco taking second, Kleier did enough to retain his title in front of a sold-out crowd.

Being named the 2019 Australian champion gave Kleier, 21, a hat trick of wins, following his 2018 championship and 2017 PBR Rookie of the Year titles.

Related: Clermont's Kleier crowned champion

He grew up on his family's 22,000ha beef property, studying via distance education before attending boarding school at the Rockhampton Grammar School, where he took part in Rodeo School and having his first bull ride at the age of 14.

It's probably not surprising, given that his parents breed bulls for the PBR competition.

Aaron Kleier in action at Townsville on the weekend. Picture - Elise Derwin.

Aaron Kleier in action at Townsville on the weekend. Picture - Elise Derwin.

This year they have witnessed some epic battles between their son and Brady Fielder, who was sitting at number two on the Australian standings for much of the year, but Aaron's grit and determination saw him maintain the number one spot on the national rankings for most of the year.

Fielder finished as number three in Australia soon after returning from Las Vegas where he was invited to compete at the PBR bull riding world finals.

The two-night competition in Townsville saw 17 of Australia's top riders, as well as five key internationals, battle it out for a share of a $100,000 prize pool.

The international riders who competed in the tightly contested event included 2018 world champion Kaique Pacheco, who made his much anticipated global return to competition in Townsville following injury, fellow Brazilians Rubens Barbosa and Eduardo Aparecido, plus US competitors Brady Sims and Cody Rodeo Tyler.

Tamworth rider Troy Wilkinson secured third place for the weekend. On his retirement ride and last night of competition, New Zealander Fraser Babbington finished fourth, and Cliff Richardson was fifth.

The overall 2019 PBR Australian stock contractor of the year title was also announced at Townsville and it was the second year in a row that the Hunter Valley-based TnR Bucking Bulls took the win home for NSW.

Of their win Mitch Russell, who makes up half of the Throsby and Russell partnership of TnR Bucking Bulls said they had gone into the weekend competition at number one on the leaderboard but never knowing what might happen on the night.

"Our bulls had had a big week, travelling further than the North Queensland based Brandenburg and Dittman bucking bulls, so for them to come out on top is an awesome result.

"Edward (business partner Edward Throsby) and I couldn't be happier.

"We got them on the road early this week to avoid the road closures and to escape the fires in the Hunter Valley, that came right onto our properties.

"I think the nice rest up in sunny Townsville before competing this weekend has done them good," he joked.

The Bucking Bull of the Year title went to Dittman's Fully Locked N Loaded, while Bull Team of the Event honours went to Wallace Bucking Bulls.

PBR general manager Glen Young said the weekend had been the best finals since their inception in Australia 20 years ago.

Next weekend it starts all over again in Tamworth, the opening event for the 2020 season.

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