PROFESSIONAL bull rider Aaron Kleier has etched his name in the sport’s record books after being crowned the 2021 PBR Australia Champion, winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive national title.
Only one other bull rider in history has won a national title four times in any of PBR’s international divisions.
As the first to achieve the feat in successive years, Kleier (from Clermont, Queensland) is now tied David Kennedy (Kyogle, New South Wales) for most Australian national titles won by one rider in the league’s history.
Kennedy topped the national standings in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Kleier began Saturday’s Australia Monster Energy Tour Grand Finals in Townsville with a 195.83-point lead over No. 2 contender Macaulie Leather (Calliope, Queensland).
He furthered his stronghold on the No. 1 position and inched closer to history by sweeping the opening rounds of competition.
Quick to strike, Kleier tied for the Round 1 win at the Grand Finals with an 85.5-point effort aboard Suga Boom Boom (BK Bucking Bullls). He then faced a rubber match with King Kong (Fred Kleier) in Round 2.
King Kong, currently the largest bull bucking in PBR competition with a weight of 990kg, threw Kleier in their first meeting at Rockhampton in 2018, sending him to the ground in a heartbreaking 7.97 seconds.
But the Queensland cowboy exacted revenge in their next showdown, beating the commanding animal athlete for 88 back at Rockhampton in July this year.
Continuing his success, Kleier matched King Kong jump-for-jump en route to the 8-second whistle, marked a Round 2-winning 85.25 points.
His successes continued to mount at Townsville, delivering what tied for the third-best score of Round 3 of the Grand Finals when he rode Forever Amen (Brandenburg Bucking Bulls) for 84.75 points.
Kleier, 23, was unable to make the 8 aboard his final two animal athlete opponents, coming off Roam Aviation High Risk (Dunne Bulls) in 2.25 seconds in Round 4 and Razor Sharp (Peter Wallace) in 3.06 seconds in the championship round.
But his third-place effort at the season-culminating event, which netted him 106.5 national points, clinched him the 2021 PBR Australia Championship
Throughout the season, Kleier went a PBR Australia-best 23-for-35, covering 65.71% of the nation’s top bovine athletes.
He concluded the year 248.01 points ahead of No. 2 Brady Fielder (Clermont, Queensland).
Including the $25,000 bonus for being crowed the 2021 PBR Australia Champion, Kleier earned a check for $31,533.33 at the two-day event in Townsville.
In the bull pen, Cattle King Boogers Beach (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) capped his dominant season with both the 2021 YETI Bull and Rookie Bull of the Year honours. After winning a league-leading nine Bull of the Event honors throughout the regular season, Boogers Beach clinched both year-end honours compliments of a monstrous 45.25-point out in the championship round of the 2021 PBR Australia Grand Finals. The fierce bovine athlete earned the score after tossing seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier Lachlan Richardson (Gresford, New South Wales) in 5.02 seconds.
Cattle King Boogers Beach left the Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre having collected $9,080 in bonus money for both year-end titles. Dittmann Bucking Bulls was also anointed the 2021 PBR Australia Stock Contractor of the Year, earning a $5,000 bonus. In addition to Cattle King Boogers Beach, other standout bovines from the outfit’s roster that bucked at the Grand Finals included Roid Rage (Dittmann Bucking Bulls), Reloaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls) and POA Fully Locked & Loaded (Dittmann Bucking Bulls).
Courtesy of a near-perfect 3-for-5 showing Sam Woodall (Heywood, Victoria) won the prestigious 2021 PBR Australia Grand Finals event title, along with $11,800. Woodall was electric on Championship Saturday, rebounding from a dismal opening day of competition when he was bested by Breaking Bad (MJ/Keliher Bucking Bulls) in 4.63 seconds in Round 1, and Blinky Bill (BK Bucking Bulls) in 4.96 seconds in Round 2.