Cody Heffernan is ranked #4 in the Australian standings, is feeling fit and healthy after some time off – and is ready to make a run at another title.
So as this tough customer attempts to narrow the gap between himself and competition leader Aaron Kleier, competing in front of his family and friends at the Great Northern Newcastle Invitational is going to be an advantage.
“It’s hard for my family to travel a lot to see me compete when they’re busy and working but having an event so close to home means they can come and see me ride,” Heffernan says.
“It gives me a real boost to have their support and makes Newcastle one of my favourite tour stops every year.”
Logistically travelling down the road “is a lot easier” as opposed making his way to the many interstate events that make up the PBR calendar year.
And, it has been another big year for the 2016 PBR Australia National Champion.
From securing his first win of the season early at the Adelaide Invitational to a stint on the top tour in the US after breaking into the Top 35 and then representing his country at the Global Cup, Heffernan is now locked in an intense battle for the number one spot.
“Coming into Newcastle event, we’re seeing four key riders – Aaron Kleier, Fraser Babbington, Cliff Richardson and Cody Heffernan – locked in a fierce battle for the Aussie title,” says Glen Young, who is the general manager of PBR Australia.
“There isn’t much separating the top four contenders – and I wouldn’t be surprised if Newcastle turns out to be a decisive leg in this year’s title race.
With guts and glory on the line, we’re expecting a cracker of a battle and some standout performances – it’s going to be a hell of a night.”
Leading into this showdown, Hefferan took some time off and then headed up to Queensland where he won two consecutive ABCRA sanctioned bull riding events (Mareeba, July 14 and Charters Towers, July 21).
Heffernan says it was good to have a break and then knock “some rust off” at the two rodeos.
“I am feeling fit and I am the healthiest I have been in over two years,” he says.
“I am roughly just over 1000 points behind and the Newcastle winner will get around 500-600 points so I can’t take the lead for the title but I can get closer ahead of finals in Townsville.”
But for now the plan is simple – ride all my bulls, he explains.
This season he also picked up a local sponsor in the Imperial Hotel and would like to thank Ben and his team for their support.