PUEBLO, Colo. – 2016 should have been a year that Lachlan Richardson would be celebrating as his best season yet in the PBR.
However, it was his last bull attempted that ultimately put a blemish on his standout season.
Richardson was hunting for 8 seconds aboard Torch in Round 5 of the Built Ford Tough World Finals when he felt a shooting pain in his right riding arm after being bucked off at the 7.49-second mark.
The 24-year-old was quickly informed by Dr. Tandy Freeman that he had torn his bicep and would likely need surgery.
Surgery was indeed the case, and when Richardson returned home to Australia after the Finals he underwent surgery to repair his “completely” torn bicep on Nov. 15.
Richardson will now have to wait six months before returning to the United States to try and build off his career-best 16th place finish in the world standings.
He had previously never finished higher than 33rd (2012).
“Yes, very frustrating,” Richardson said this past weekend, “but all I can do is do everything I can to come back as quick as possible, and I can still do better than last year.”
Richardson nearly doubled up his career-best for BFTS qualified rides by going 20-for-85 in 27 events – his previous best was 11 qualified rides in 2013 and ’14.
He also set a career-high with a 23.53-percent riding average, and his 85 attempts and 27 events were also personal bests.
Richardson won his first 15/15 Bucking Battle with an emotional 92.25-point ride on Seven Dust in Thackerville, Oklahoma. He had dedicated the victory to his childhood friend and Australia rodeo star Blake Hallam, who had recently died in a car accident.
He posted eight Top-10 finishes and three Top-5’s.
Richardson said his bicep is improving every day.
“Yeah, feeling good,” he said. “I only had it out of the sling for two weeks, so I’m still working on getting full movement. I also been swimming.”
Richardson added that he is eyeing a United States return to competition in the summer.
He will still have eight guaranteed BFTS events for the resumption of the BFTS in August based on his 16th-place finish in the 2016 world standings.
Richardson has qualified for the World Finals every season of his five-year career, and he will be gunning for a spot at the 2017 Built Ford Tough World Finals despite missing the first half of the season.
It won’t be impossible for Richardson. Just last year, Chase Outlaw and Ty Pozzobon, who announced on Instagram he will not be competing in the 2017 BFTS season opener in New York because of his on-going hand injury, qualified for the World Finals despite missing major time because of injuries.
“I’m going to get on a few bulls here first to make sure it’s fully healed,” Richardson said. “Then probably come over there for the start of the summer.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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