2010 Navajo Nation CBR Challenge Preview

The 2010 CBR Tour Finale starts one month from today, and the last handful of events will be extremely important in the race for the World Title.  The CINCH CBR Tour presented by Mahindra Tractors now turns its attention to Window Rock, Arizona, for the Navajo Nation CBR Challenge.  This stop has become a mainstay on the tour through the years, and it's shaping up to be another special event in the Southwest.

Alabama cowboy Luke Kelly grabbed the lead in the season standings after a huge win in Bossier City a few weeks back, and he increased his lead after a runner-up finish in Hankinson a few nights ago.  Ardie Maier, who is coming off a win in North Dakota, is in second place.  Elliot Jacoby has a first, second, and third-place finish over the past month, and he is currently third in the standings.  The top five is rounded by out by Friday Wright and Steve Woolsey.  Nine of the top-10 riders will be in Window Rock tomorrow, so fans should be in for a treat.

This event is also special because Navajo Parks and Recreation will once again be sponsoring three Navajo riders.  The three riders will be Tustin Daye, Justin Silversmith, and Jeffery Roanhorse.  Spud Jones, another Navajo bull rider, won this event in 2007.  It will be interesting to see how these young cowboys perform under the bright lights.

Some of the contractors who will be bringing bulls to Arizona include Brad Vogele, Danny Reagan, Owen Washburn, etc.  I'm not completely sure which bulls will be at the event, but you can bet the bull power will be strong as always.  Also, I've put together a list of eight riders to keep an eye on in Window Rock.  If you have anything to add, please email me at:  Enjoy!

Luke Kelly
It's hard to find a bull rider who is riding better and has more confidence right now than Luke Kelly.  He is at the top of the CBR season standings by $10,000, and he backed up his great win in Louisiana with a runner-up finish in North Dakota Sunday night.  Kelly will be a major factor in the 2010 World Title race, and he will probably be a factor in Window Rock as well.

Ardie Maier
Ardie Maier made a huge move from eighth to second in the season standings after his win in Hankinson, and he has definitely picked the right time of the year to make his move.  He had a top-10 finish on night one in Huron, so the consistency is there as well.  Maier will be one to watch in Arizona and all the remaining events in 2010.

Elliot Jacoby
Elliot Jacoby has been on an absolute tear since Hobbs in mid-August.  He won that event, finished second in Bossier City, and placed third in Hankinson.  He fell to third in the standings after Maier won in North Dakota, but he is only $12 out of second.  Jacoby won this event in 2008, and that should give him even more confidence than he already has.

Wrangler Dunda
Wrangler Dunda broke out of a pretty big slump with a fourth-place finish in Hankinson.  Now that he has ridden a couple bulls and regained some confidence, it might be only a matter of time before he cashes in with a victory.  Dunda is currently eighth in the 2010 standings, and a strong finish in Arizona will keep him moving in the right direction.

Riggin Phillips
Riggin Phillips has quietly been on a little hot streak over the past month.  He finished third in Bossier City, and he is coming off a sixth-place finish in Hankinson.  Window Rock is also a special place for Phillips because he picked up his first-career CBR win there last year.  He is currently ninth in the season standings, and he will definitely be one to watch tomorrow night.

Scotty Knapp
Scotty Knapp is a newcomer to the CBR, but it didn't take him long to make an impact.  He won the second night in Huron and jumped to 24th in the season standings.  The Navajo Nation CBR Challenge will be his first event since the big win, and it will be interesting to see how he performs.  After the performance he delivered last week in South Dakota, I wouldn't bet against him.

Bonner Bolton
Bonner Bolton didn't enter Huron or Hankinson, but he is coming off his best finish in quite awhile.  The former CBR World Champion finished fourth in Bossier City, and it showed he still has a ton of talent and ability.  He is also a past winner of this event (2006).  Bolton is currently 26th in the season standings, and while he may not be a serious contender for the World Title this season, he can still make a late run and finish in the top 10.  

Spud Jones
Spud Jones doesn't enter a lot of CBR events, but he is usually pretty successful when he does.  He finished in the top 10 both nights in Huron last week, and he has also had a lot of success in Window Rock over the last few years.  Jones won this event in 2007, and he finished fifth in 2009.  The Navajo cowboy will undoubtedly be one of the crowd favorites, and he has proven he can get the job done in Arizona in the past.