Five Riders Who Could Rise to the Next Level in 2011

Championship Bull Riding is loaded with talented riders, and that makes things really competitive throughout the standings. In addition, there are always going to be riders who make improvements between seasons and make a huge move the following year.  The 2010 CBR World Champ, Luke Kelley, is a perfect example.  Before last season, he had finished some years in the top 30 but never really stood out.  He put everything together in 2010, however, and won the World Title and $100,000 bonus.

Who are some of the riders who could rise to the next level in 2011?  I've put together a list of five guys who have the capability to make a huge impact next season.  Not only do these guys have a lot of ability, they also have the talent to win events and contend for the World Title.  If you want to voice your opinion, please visit our Facebook page or email me at:  Enjoy!

Chandler Bownds
Chandler Bownds is going to be a great rider in the CBR, and even though he is still in his teens, he proved he can get the job done on the biggest stage in bull riding.  The young Texan had his fair share of struggles the early part of 2010, but he figured things out the last month or so.  He finished fourth in Lubbock the weekend before the Tour Finale, and he won the Championship Round and finished second on the last night in Kansas City.

Bownds finished his rookie season 22nd in the final CBR standings, and I'll be surprised if he doesn't improve that by at least 10 spots in 2011.  After finishing on a roll at the Tour Finale, he finished sixth at the Horizon Series event in Longview a couple weeks ago.  Those points will count towards the 2011 standings, so he is already off to a great start on the new season.  He has everything it takes to be a top-10 rider.

Aaron Pass
Aaron Pass got on a lot of bulls in various organizations in 2010, but he still made an impact in the CBR late in the season.  In Lubbock, he went 1-for-2 and finished eighth overall.  At the Tour Finale, he finished in the top 10 both nights.  He won the long round on the second night in Kansas City, but he was unable to finish the deal in the Championship Round.  Nonetheless, he showed everyone he can be a factor moving forward.

Pass finished the 2010 season 29th in the final CBR standings, but he should end up much higher than that in 2011.  I've been told he will be at more CBR events next season, and that's good news for Aaron Pass fans.  He makes it look as easy as anyone when he brings his A-Game.  If he can just ride a few more bulls in the Championship Round, he is going to put himself in position to win a lot of money next year.

Bradley Harris
Bradley Harris didn't finish the 2010 season on a high note, but he showed signs of excellence throughout the year.  He finished second in Hobbs in mid August, and he followed that with a fifth-place finish on the first night in Huron.  Earlier in the season, he won a long round in Tulsa en route to a fourth-place finish in the Sooner State.  When the Kansas cowboy is riding well, he is capable of riding anything and everything.

Harris finished the 2010 season 25th in the final CBR standings, but he has the talent to finish much higher than that.  He broke his arm right before the Tour Finale, so he had to miss the event.  He was there, however, and was in good spirits.  Once he heals up from the injury, he should be back and better than ever.  The sky is the limit for this guy, and fans could be seeing his name on a lot of leaderboards in 2011.

Lucas Dick
Lucas Dick finished the 2010 season with a pretty solid sixth-place finish on night two of the Tour Finale, and he has already started 2011 off well.  He finished fourth in Longview, TX, a couple weeks ago, so he is already near the top of the new season standings.  Dick finished 23rd in the 2010 CBR standings, and he has proven he can make big rides under the bright lights.  If he enters enough events in 2011, he should be able to make a big move in the 2011 standings.

Casey Bowman
Casey Bowman's 2010 season was different than any other rider in the CBR.  The Texas bull rider had heart surgery early in the season, and upon returning in Fort Worth, he suffered three broken ribs and a punctured lung.  He returned from those injuries for the Fall Run, but he underwent a second heart surgery about a month ago.  During the second surgery, the doctors put in a pacemaker to help the situation moving forward.

Bowman will be more than ready to turn to the calendar to 2011.  He finished the 2009 season 11th in the final standings after great performances at the George Paul Memorial and the Tour Finale.  After finishing outside the top 100 in the 2010 standings, he will be ready to get back to his 2009 form.  If all goes well and he recovers nicely, he should hit the ground running in January and February.  It will be a great story to follow for sure.