2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Begins Tonight

The 2010 National Finals Rodeo starts tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV.  Over the next 10 days, the world's best cowboys and cowgirls will battle for round money, gold buckles, and a PRCA World Title.  There are several big-name CBR riders in contention for the bull riding title, and I'll be following their progression over the next week and a half.  I'm also going to be listing a couple key match-ups each day to get you excited for each night's performance.

Going into the WNFR, here are five bull riders to keep an eye on over the next 10 days.  In addition, I've included two match-ups that could win the first round.  If you have anything to add, please visit our Facebook page and voice your opinion.  Also, you can always email me at:  Enjoy!

Five Riders to Watch at the WNFR
Wesley Silcox won the PRCA World Title in 2007, and he is first in the standings going into this year's WNFR.  He won this year's Xtreme Bulls Tour, and that's a big reason he is currently first.  He has a great shot at winning his second title if he gets off to a solid start in Vegas.  Silcox has also been a mainstay in the CBR over the past few seasons.

Steve Woolsey finished second in the 2010 CBR standings, and he goes into the WNFR third in the PRCA standings.  He won the Justin Boots Championship in Omaha, and that moved him up to finish the regular season.  Woolsey will be making his fifth appearance at the WNFR, and he will be looking to win his first World Title in the process.

Clayton Williams will be making his first appearance at the WNFR this year, and he is currently fifth in the PRCA standings.  He has a legitimate chance to contend for his first-ever World Title.  Williams is also coming off a season in which he finished 15th in the 2010 CBR standings.

J.W. Harris is the two-time reigning and defending PRCA World Champion, and he is currently eighth in the PRCA standings coming into the WNFR.  This will be his fifth WNFR appearance.  He started the season a little slow due to a hand injury he suffered last year in Vegas, but he picked it up as the season progressed.  There is no doubt he will be a factor in this year's title race as well.  Harris is also coming off another solid CBR season in which he finished 21st in the 2010 standings.

Ardie Maier will be making his first WNFR appearance this year, and he is currently 11th in the PRCA standings.  Maier was also a contender for this year's CBR World Title before missing the last couple events because of a knee injury.  He finished fourth in the 2010 CBR standings.  Maier hasn't ridden competitively since knee surgery in early October, but he says he is healthy and ready for the WNFR.

Two Key Match-Ups For Round One
J.W. Harris on Vitalix Hot Diggity Damn is my favorite to win the first round of the WNFR.  Harris is a two-time PRCA World Champ, and this bull is one all the riders love to draw.  He is ridden often, and the scores are usually close to or above 90 points.  Harris has ridden him for 90 points before, and while he might not get to that mark this time, he should be close.  This is about as close to a guarantee as you can find in bull riding.

Clayton Williams on Cajun Monkey is another match-up I like for round one.  Williams has had his most consistent year ever, and this bull only bucks off about half the riders he faces.  Clayton rides a little better away from his hand, and this bull may be into his hand.  That being said, he should ride him either way and be in the mid-to-high 80s.  If he can get the first one ridden, watch out for this guy as the week progresses.

Autograph Signings (Will Update As We Get New Info)
The following is a list of riders who will be signing at the Cowboy Christmas Gift Show Las Vegas Convention Center Booth #1252.

Thursday, December 2nd:  Shawn Hogg and D.J. Domangue (12:00PM to 1:00PM), Ardie Maier (12:30PM to 1:30PM)

Friday, December 3rd:  Chandler Bownds and Cody Whitney (1:00PM to 3:00PM)

Monday, December 6th:  Bobby Welsh (1:00PM to 2:00PM) and Wesley Silcox (1:30PM to 2:30PM)

Wednesday, December 8th:  Bobby Welsh (1:00PM to 2:00PM)

Cheyenne Frontier Days Wins Award
The Cheyenne Frontier Days won the award for Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year for the seventh consecutive year at last night's PRCA Awards Banquet.  Championship Bull Riding will be a part of the Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2011.  The CINCH CBR Tour presented by Mahindra Tractors will be at the "Daddy of em All" July 25th and 26th.

Congratulations Are In Order for J.W. and Jackie Harris
Congratulations are in order for J.W. and Jackie Harris on the birth of their baby girl.  Aubrey Lee Harris was born Tuesday night at 11:03PM.  She weighed 8lbs. and 3 oz. and was 18 inches long.  All three are doing great!