Gresford's Cliff Richardson to compete in PBR world finals in Vegas

ACTION: The Hunter is right behind Gresford professional bull rider Cliff Richardson as he competes in Las Vegas this weekend.
ACTION: The Hunter is right behind Gresford professional bull rider Cliff Richardson as he competes in Las Vegas this weekend.

Gresford professional bull rider Cliff Richardson has landed in Las Vegas to compete in the biggest Professional Bull Riding (PBR) competition in the world - the PBR World Finals.

Richardson and one other Australian, Brady Fielder from Clermont in Queensland, will compete in the event from November 7-10.

It is the first time that 19-year-old Australian ranked number two Fielder, and 28 year-old Australian ranked number three Richardson have been invited to compete in the prestigious PBR World Finals

Both will then back-up from the world titles to return home and compete for the top national title in the PBR Australia Grand Finals in Townsville on November 15 and 16.

The nation's best professional bull riders are down to the wire in a fierce battle for this year's PBR Australia title at Townsville Entertainment Centre over two bumper nights.

The PBR Grand Finals mark the final and deciding chapter in the hotly-contested 2019 PBR Australia season.

The critical event will attract 18 of Australia's top riders, as well as four key internationals - including former World Champion Kaique Pacheco (Brazil), for an epic head-to-head showdown that will decide the coveted 2019 PBR Australia National Champion title.

The riders will also matchup against some of the best bucking bulls in the country - the supreme animal athletes that earn 'superstar' status in of one of the world's fastest growing sports.

"This year marks the 20th anniversary of PBR in Australia, and the grand Ffnals in Townsville are the biggest celebration of the sport's growth from when we launched the national tour in 1999," said PBR Australia General Manager, Glen Young.

"We're thrilled to be hosting such a marquee event in the same town as the PBR Australia headquarters - and the Townsville community has always welcomed us and our sport with open arms."

2018 PBR Australia Champion Aaron Kleier (Clermont, QLD) is set to return to Townsville in a bid to nab consecutive national titles.

Kleier currently sits atop the PBR Australia Standings having successfully backed up a breakout runner-up finish in 2017, and an inaugural Australian Championship win in 2018.

Cliff Richardson was runner up to Kleier in the 2018 title race and while he started the year strong, he didn't find consistency in the middle of the season.

But with recent form under his belt, and the backing of the Hunter cheering him on, he has his sights set on bettering his number two grand final position this year.

Cliff's younger brother and PBR Australia ranked number four, Lachlan Richardson, is also hoping to put injury and a mid-season slump behind him to make a last-ditch run at this year's national title.

The 26-year-old consolidated his top four ranking with a return to form after injury and a string of disappointing buck-offs earlier in the year.

"You work hard at it every single day, and then the results don't show," he said.

"It annoys you, but it also makes you hungry for next week. I had a bit of bad luck there for a bit, but you've just got to keep working at it.

"Confidence is a really big thing in this sport, and I feel good, healthy and ready to go."

2019 was the first season in Lachlan Richardson's career that he did not embark on a summer run through the PBR tours in the USA and Canada.

Grounded in Australia due to visa issues, Richardson says he has enjoyed the break from international competition.

"It's great to be home," he said.

"It wears you out being over there (in the USA) your whole life, so I'm happy to be back here for a bit.

"I enjoy working and doing fun stuff on the farm, and I get to live with my fiancée - so life is good."

Out of the mix for this year's national championship is current PBR Australia number five Cody Heffernan from Singleton after surgery on his knee a week ago.

Heffernan started the year looking virtually untouchable on top of the national leaderboard, however a string of injuries has hampered his run at a second national title - with a knee injury now sidelining him entirely for this rest of this season and into the new year.