EDMONTON – Despite ranking fourth after Round 1 of the PBR Global Cup, Team Australia had an impressive showing on Friday night at Rogers Place.
With four scores registered so far, their total score checks in at 344.75 points, which is only 156.75 points behind event leader Team Canada. On average, that’s two rides of under 79 points.
Lachlan Richardson led Team Australia with scores of 86.5 on Darkness to split Round 1 for $7,000 and 87.75 on Catfish John for second place in the Bonus Round.
“It felt a bit more than what it was,” Richardson said of Catfish John. “I’ve never been on him, but I’ve seen him lots the last two or three years. He’s always been one I’ve wanted to get on. He gets a lot of people. I guess he looks easier than what he is, but it feels good to have a shot at him and get him done.”
Unfortunately for Team Australia, Stormy Wing’s 88.25 points on Red Bandana earned the $14,000 in bonus money for Team USA.
What the ride does show for Australia is the heart and soul of the team. When the whistle blew, all but a few hats from the remainder of the team had been thrown into the arena to congratulate Lachie on his big-time ride.
“I was pumped probably more than them,” Richardson said. “But, yeah, it’s good to see everyone behind me. It’s fun when you stay on.”
The Australians were happy with how the Bonus Round draft turned out for them.
“We had kind of all talked about it all together,” Richardson said. “We weren’t sure who was going to pick what in front of us, but that (Catfish John) was our number one pick on that side and we weren’t first pick so it worked out.”
With seven bulls to go, Australia still has a chance to earn the event win and $400,000.
“It’s still close,” Richardson said. “Everyone that got thrown off tonight went down trying. We’ll do the same tomorrow and we’ll get a different outcome.”
The inaugural PBR Global Cup at Rogers Place marks Lachlan’s first taste of international competition.
“I had seen them growing up on TV,” Richardson said of the former World Cups. “It was always something I wanted to do as a team and for your country to be a part of it is awesome.”
As one of two sets of brothers competing in Edmonton, Lachlan is proud to have his older brother Cliff on his chute.
“It’s good to have him here,” Lachlan said. “I always like travelling with him. Just knowing he’s there behind me, and the same for him. I wish it could be every week, but it’s definitely good to have him here.”
On Friday, Cliff rode Tykro Checkered Flags for 86.25 points and third place in Round 1, which was worth $4,000 in earnings.
“He’s got two or three tricks and I reckon I got the good one, so I’m happy with that,” Cliff said.
The elder Richardson last competed in North America in 2013.
“That was my last event in Canada,” Cliff remembered. “I got hurt in 2014 and I took nearly two years off. Got healthy again, have been married (Wife-Jess) and got a little boy (Wylie) at home now too.”
A bull put his horn in Cliff’s stomach and it ruptured his spleen and part of his pancreas in that 2014 wreck. His spleen would be removed, and while he was out he would have his knee repaired at the same time.
“I feel as healthy as ever and I guess it proves you can live without a spleen,” Cliff said.
Like his brother, Cliff is proud to represent his native land.
“It’s pretty special to ride for our country,” Cliff said. “But I guess the best part is (coach) Adriano (Moraes) is really nice and knows what he’s talking about and I’m riding with my brother Lachlan. He is my best mate and the rest of the guys are all my closest mates and you ride best when you’re there with them guys.”
It’s not bad to have a few mates to shoot the breeze with on foreign land with too.
“It’s cool because we can talk our own language and lingo and no one looks at us funny,” he added.
Cliff Richardson vs. Blue Gangster
Kurt Shepard vs. Honkey Sam
Lachlan Richardson vs. Beaver Creek Beau
Troy Wilkinson vs. Happy Camper
Aaron Kleier vs. Big Dirty
Nathan Burtenshaw vs. Minion Stuart
Sonny Sheffarius vs. American Gangster
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