Five Extremely Early Thoughts From the 2011 Season

The 2010 Championship Bull Riding season ended in early October, and the 2011 season started the next weekend in Longview, TX.  The 2011 CINCH CBR Tour presented by Mahindra Tractors won't start up again until January, but there have been several Horizon Series events already.  All the events have had great bulls and bull riders on showcase, and the 2011 CBR World Title race is already starting to take shape.  There is obviously a long way to go, but these early points being accumulated could turn out to be very important.

I've put together five extremely early thoughts on the 2011 season.  A lot of positive things have already happened during the new season, and it's definitely worth mentioning.  If you have anything to add, please visit our Facebook page and give your input.  Also, you can always email me at:  Enjoy!

Bonner Bolton's Great Start
2007 CBR World Champion Bonner Bolton has had his fair share of ups-and-downs since winning the gold buckle a few years back.  He started showing signs again towards the end of the 2010 season, and he finished strong at the Tour Finale in Kansas City.  Coming into the 2011 season, good things were expected of the former champ.  It's still early, but he hasn't disappointed.

Bolton is currently on top of the 2011 standings after a phenomenal start to the new season.  A few weeks ago, he had a great weekend across the state of Texas.  He started by placing high at the weekly Friday night event in Fort Worth, and then he won the event in Carthage the next day.  To top things off, he finished second in Springtown the next day to give him three solid finishes in the same weekend.  He has continued to ride well, and it looks like he will head into 2011 as the early man to beat.

Ednei Caminhas Wasted No Time Making an Impact
Ednei Caminhas' name is well-known in the sport of bull riding, and he is a former World Champ in another organization.  He has been around awhile, and he has decided to make a run at the 2011 CBR World Title.  The Brazilian didn't waste any time making his mark, and he is already placed well inside the top 10 in the season standings.  He hasn't won an event yet, but he has a runner-up finish along with another top-10 finish.  Caminhas has been extremely consistent so far.  In a title race where every ride will be crucial, he will be tough to beat in 2011.

Early Surprises
When riders like Bolton and Caminhas ride well, it's not a huge surprise.  That being said, there have been a few surprises shoot out of the gates on fire so far.  Cody Atwood is currently third in the 2011 standings after a great start to the new season.  He won the event in Springtown after a very solid ride in the Championship Round, and he placed fifth the day before in Carthage.  Ryan Shanklin (currently fifth) won the event in Wichita Falls, and he also finished in the top five in Carthage and Stephenville.  Lastly, Kolt Miller has been very consistent so far this season.  He finished second in the 2006 standings, but he hasn't had been around much since then.  After a few top-10 finishes during the new season, he is 12th in the standings.  It looks like he might be around quite a bit in 2011.

Riders Who Have Struggled Early
On the other side of things, there have been a few guys struggle a little bit so far during the new season.  Elliot Jacoby finished third in the 2010 standings, but he has struggled out of the gates so far.  He has entered several events, but he is only 33rd in the standings right now.  Cooper Kanngiesser has also entered several events, and he hasn't gained any momentum yet.  The perennial qualifier for the CBR Tour Finale is a modest 40th in the standings.  The last guy on this list is Nate Perry.  He was a top-25 rider in 2010, but he has managed just one ride early in the 2011 season.  He is currently 63rd in the standings.  All three riders will surely hit their stride when the CINCH CBR Tour presented by Mahindra Tractors starts in January, but they have had a tough time so far.

Friday Night Fort Worth Horizon Series
There is a CBR Horizon Series event at the Fort Worth Stockyards every Friday night, and if you haven't had a chance to attend, it's highly recommended.  It has gained a lot of steam over the last few months, and the quality of bulls and riders continues to improve on a weekly basis.  Several of the top bull riders in the world have ridden at the Fort Worth Stockyards the last couple months, and the weekly bull team competition has also kept things at a very high level.  Some of the contractors who have won the competition include Norris Dalton, Scott Accomazzo, Chris Knapp, Trevor Walker, Mike Sellers, etc.  Like I said above, you should definitely do yourself a favor and check this out if you are in the area.  The rider scores also count towards the 2011 CBR World Title race, so there is plenty on the line every Friday night.