Interview With 2010 CBR World Champion Luke Kelley

Luke Kelley had a career year in 2010, and he walked out of the Tour Finale with the World Title and $100,000.  He started off the season pretty well, but he really turned things up a notch in Bossier City, LA.  He won the event, moved to the top of the season standings, and never looked back.  He added another event win and the $10,000 Mahindra Tractors Texas Swing bonus in Lubbock, TX, and that proved to be the icing on the cake.

I recently had the opportunity to interview the new World Champ to get his thoughts on his magical 2010 CBR season, his goals for 2011, and much more.  If you have anything to add, please visit our Facebook page and give your input.  You can also email me at:  Enjoy!

Cody:  Luke, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to do this interview.  I'm just going to start with the 2010 CBR World Title.  Has it truly set in that you are the 2010 CBR World Champion?  If so, what does it mean to you?

Luke:  Yes, I think it has set in.  It's an awesome feeling to finally win a World Title and achieve my goals.  It's always been my dream to pay for my land riding bulls, and this has helped put a big dent in it.

Cody:  You won the event and $10,000 Mahindra Tractors Texas Swing bonus in Lubbock to clinch the World Title.  How nice was it to wrap things up before the Tour Finale?

Luke:  It was great!  I told my fiance' Kelly that I wanted to be over $30,000 ahead going into Kansas City.  That was my goal.

Cody:  During the season, when did you realize you were a serious contender for the gold buckle?

Luke:  I have always thought I was a serious contender for the gold buckle, or I wouldn't still be riding bulls.  That being said, the Bossier City event was my big break.

Cody:  You made a number of great rides throughout the 2010 CBR season.  Pick one that really stands out to you.

Luke:  I got on Chrome Molly in Nashville, TN, early in the season.  The bull had a good night, and I was hanging on by the tips of my fingers.  It still felt really good, and it all worked out for 91.5 points.

Cody:  You injured your finger during the CBR Tour Finale.  How is it healing, and when will you be back in action?

Luke:  My finger is doing great!  I'll be back shortly, as soon as hunting season is over.

Cody:  That's great news for CBR fans.  Now that you are the reigning CBR World Champion, what are your goals for 2011?

Luke:  I want to remain the reigning World Champion.  I want to stay healthy and consistent in 2011.  The guy who rides the most bulls normally wins.

Cody:  List some of your favorite CBR bulls.

Luke:  Cude Energy, Double Scoop, Chrome Molly, Soul Train, and the black muley of Danny Reagan's.

Cody:  Who are some of your favorite riders to watch?

Luke:  Cooper Kanngiesser is the first who comes to mind because he can make some outstanding bull rides when he is hot.  Kenny Westrope also comes to mind because you never know if and when he is going to nod his head.  All jokes aside, all of the guys who go to the CBR events ride great.  I like to watch great bull rides.

Cody:  Before the 2010 season, what was your biggest CBR highlight?

Luke:  I didn't have any.  Before this past season, I never won any major CINCH Tour events.  I won checks and made it to the Finals in Las Vegas, but I never had a consistent run like I had in 2010.  In the past, I had a hard time staying healthy, and I tried to ride hurt a lot.

Cody:  I'll switch gears a little now.  Who introduced you to bull riding, and when did you get on your first bull?

Luke:  My father and brother took me to get on my first yearling bull when I was six.  When I was 14, I started getting on 15-20 practice bulls three times a week.

Cody:  Do you pattern your riding style after anyone in particular?  

Luke:  I didn't know I had a riding style.  I just always try to stay on, and most of my buddies make fun of my style.

Cody:  Your style definitely got the job done in 2010!  Who were your heroes growing up (in or out of rodeo)?

Luke:  Out of the arena, I look up to people who step up to the plate and do things they don't have to do to take care of their family and business.  My step-dad Terry Evans is an example of this.  I respect anyone who works hard at life and makes a go of it regardless of their current situation or past.

In the arena, I looked up to guys like Donnie Gay and Tuff Hedeman because they didn't give a damn if they ran a mountain lion in the chute.  They got on, nodded their head, and tried as hard as they could.  I have the utmost respect for anyone who doesn't whine or cry and give it all they have every time, just gritty and tough people.

Cody:  What do you enjoy when you aren't riding bulls?

Luke:  Hunting, hunting, and more hunting!  I also enjoy hanging out with Kelly and working on our new place.

Cody:  What would you do if you weren't a bull rider?

Luke:  I would have my own hunting show on TV.

Cody:  Are there any people you would like to thank?  If so, you can do that now.

Luke:  I would like to thank Dale and Linda Williford and Eddie and Debbie Jones for taking me to every junior and high school rodeo growing up.  They treated me like I was their own son.  I would like to thank my brother for being really tough on me and making me get on all those bulls day in and day out.  I would like to thank my parents.  I may not have had the best childhood, but it made me who I am today.

I would also like to thank Kelly for standing behind me and supporting me for so long.  She does so much to help me in and out of the arena.  Her parents, Rick and Marla Lacey, have supported my decision to ride bulls and marry their daughter.  Finally, I'd like to thank Trevor Williford and Scott Jones who have always been like brothers.  Without them around to keep me in line when I was younger, I probably wouldn't have had the success I have today.

Cody:  Luke, thanks again for doing this interview.  You are going to be a great ambassador for Championship Bull Riding.

For more on 2010 CBR World Champion Luke Kelley, you can visit his new website: