FORT WORTH, Texas - A week from now, Brendon
Clark will play host to his own invitational for the
fourth year in a row.
It's held in the quaint little town of Newcastle, which is 30
minutes from where he grew up in Morpeth, Australia, and 45 minutes
from where he competed for the first time when he was only 8.
It's something of a hometown event.
The locals there either saw him compete as an amateur and have
followed his career, or they've seen the PBR on television and
they're fans of the sport. In either case, for the past three
years, they've filled the 4,600-seat venue.
"We're actually lucky," Clark said. "Newcastle is a good little
The Newcastle event, which will take place Saturday, July 7, is
the first of three PBR events in three weeks, culminating with the
Australian Finals in Sydney, on Saturday, July 21.
"We're actually lucky. Newcastle is a good little
There is also another Australian Cup Series event in Brisbane on
Saturday, July 14.
Clark and fellow Aussies Jared Farley and
Lachlan Richardson will be joined by Built Ford
Tough Series regulars Ryan Dirteater,
Skeeter Kingsolver, Harve
Stewart, Jory Markiss and Zane
According to Clark, Robson Palermo is expected
to compete in Sydney.
"That's a huge name to get," Clark said. "That's great and I
think that's awesome."
Living in California with his wife Allison, Clark said he
depends on PBR Australia to oversee the logistics surrounding the
Brendon Clark Invitational.
Glen Young, Troy Dunn and his
wife Jackie, who will be honored in October with the Sharon
Shoulders Award, handle everything from booking the venue and
marketing the event to setting the draw and arranging which bulls
Clark referred to Jackie as the backbone.
"She deserves it," he said, in regard to the recent news that
she would be the latest recipient of the Shoulders honor. Jackie
follows Leanne Lambert, Tiffany Davis and Shoulders.
"She does a lot for the sport that nobody really sees and she
lives and breathes PBR, and specifically PBR Australia. I'm happy
for her and that she's going to get rewarded for all the hard work
she puts in there."
Clark is competing this weekend at a Touring Pro Division event
in Midland, Texas, on Friday night. He'll return to California on
Saturday, before flying to Australia on Sunday.
He'll land the morning of July 3, and that afternoon, he'll
begin the public relations campaign for all three events.
Brisbane is an eight-hour drive from Newcastle, and Sydney is
only two hours from Clark's hometown, which makes all three events
accessible to PBR fans in that region of the country, and allows
Clark an opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time on his
trip with family and childhood friends.
"It works out good," said Clark, who plans to return to the
states immediately following the Finals in order to resume
competing at various TPD events. "I'll get to be around home most
of the time."
The Newcastle event is within a three-hour radius of the
majority of rodeos Clark competed at prior to coming to the U.S. in
This year, he said he hopes to share the public relations duties
with Richardson, who also grew up in the area.
Australian Lachlan Richardson won the BFTS event in
At 31 - Clark turns 32 in September - it's a passing of the
torch to the youngster, who is a newcomer to the Built Ford Tough
Series this year.
It's also a way for someone like Richardson, who won the BFTS
event in Uncasville, Conn., to help those who helped him achieve
his goal of competing among the elite bull riders in the world.
"Without (Jackie) and Troy and Glen basically taking it all on
and continually saying, 'We're not giving up. We're not giving
up,'" Clark said, "a lot of guys - from Pete
Farley to Lachlan Richardson to David
Kennedy, who have come over here, and all of the younger
ones who have come with a chance - probably wouldn't have had as
good a chance if it wasn't for them, especially Jackie."
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.