2011 Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding Preview

The 2011 CINCH CBR Tour starts this weekend in Hobbs, NM!  It has been nearly four months since the televised tour finished the 2010 season in Kansas City, and you can bet the riders are ready to get the new season going.  There have been several Horizon Series events over the past few months, and the season standings have already started to take shape.  With triple points on offer at the CINCH CBR Tour events, however, it will be that much more important for the world's best to start the season strong.

Championship Bull Riding will return to Hobbs, NM, for the second consecutive year.  The fans packed the house last year, and a great crowd is expected once again this weekend.  The action will be at the Lea County Event Center, and the event will start at 7:30PM.  After the bull riding, the Kyle Park Band will be playing in the arena.  The concert is free for those who have an event ticket.

If you want to see a number of former World Champions, the Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding event is the place to be.  There will be five riding in New Mexico this weekend, and that list includes 2010 CBR World Champion Luke Kelley and three-time PRCA World Champion J.W. Harris.  Other former World Champions entered are Bonner Bolton, Wesley Silcox, and Ednei Caminhas.

The top-12 riders in the 2011 season standings will all be in Hobbs this weekend, and some of the new faces fans will see include Stevo Keighley, Ryan Shanklin, Cody Atwood, etc.  In addition seven 2010 WNFR qualifiers will be riding in New Mexico, and fan favorites Chandler Bownds, Cooper Kanngiesser, Wrangler Dunda, etc. will also be ready to kick off the CINCH CBR Tour season.  Lastly, CBR veteran Jay Morrow will be riding in his first televised event since the 2009 Tour Finale.  The entire list of riders is about as strong as it's ever been!

If that's not enough to get excited about, there will also be a Bull Team Challenge event in Hobbs.  15 teams are going to battle for the top prize of $22,500!  All of the teams have a great lineup of bulls, and all of them will have a chance to win.  I'll have a more in-depth preview of all 15 teams later this week, so keep an eye out for that.

I've put together a list of 10 riders to watch for this weekend in Hobbs, NM.  Some are former World Champions, and some are guys who have been on fire the last month or two.  It's going to be anyone's event to win, and that's going to add to the excitement.  If you have anything to add, please visit our Facebook page and give your input.  Also, you can always email me at:  Enjoy!

Luke Kelley
Luke Kelley has only ridden in a couple Horizon Series events in 2011, but he will be ready to get the CINCH CBR Tour season going.  He went 1-for-2 this past weekend in Jackson, TN, so there shouldn't be much rust in Hobbs.  His drive for back-to-back CBR World Titles begins in New Mexico, and he will be one of the favorites every time he enters.  Kelley is 100 percent healthy and will be a major factor all season.

J.W. Harris
J.W. Harris won his third consecutive PRCA World Title last month, and he is definitely one of the best bull riders in the world.  Every time he enters a CBR event, he is a major favorite to find the winner's circle.  He had a top-10 finish at the Horizon Series event in Allen last November, and with triple points on offer at the CINCH CBR Tour events, it won't take long for him to move up the standings.  I'm excited to see how Harris performs this weekend.

Steve Woolsey
Steve Woolsey finished the 2010 CBR season with a win on night two of the Tour Finale, and he finished the season second in the CINCH CBR World Standings.  He will be making his 2011 season debut this weekend in Hobbs.  He has become one of the most consistent riders in Championship Bull Riding, and he is on the short list of top contenders for this year's World Title.  Woolsey's road to the gold buckle starts Saturday night.  He won the long round here last August.

Cooper Kanngiesser
Cooper Kanngiesser has been close to winning a CBR World Title before, and he has already started to make his move up the standings in 2011.  He finished second at the Horizon Series event in Lebanon, MO, a couple weeks ago, and he backed that up with another qualified ride in Jackson, TN, this past weekend.  When Cooper is riding well, he can rack up quite a few qualified rides in a short period of time.  He already has a number of big CBR wins in his career, and he could start the 2011 CINCH CBR Tour season with another one.

Cody White
Cody White might be coming into the CINCH CBR Tour season with more confidence than anyone after his win this past weekend in Jackson, TN.  The victory moved him up to a tie for fourth in the season standings, and he will have a chance to move to the top of the standings this weekend in Hobbs.  White enters a lot of events, and he is going to be a factor in the World Title race all season if he can stay healthy.

Clayton Foltyn
Clayton Foltyn has started the 2011 season about as well as anyone, and he is currently second in the standings as the CINCH CBR Tour begins New Mexico.  He hasn't found the winner's circle yet this season, but he has already finished in the top five at multiple events.  His consistency has been impressive so far, and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up at the televised tour events.  Foltyn could be a big factor in 2011, and he has a chance to regain the top spot in the standings this weekend.

Wesley Silcox
Wesley Silcox had a down year in the CBR in 2010, but you can bet he will be a bigger factor in 2011.  He is also coming off another great PRCA season where he finished second in the final standings.  Like J.W. Harris, Silcox is always going to be a favorite to win whenever he enters, and this weekend will be no different.  He finished fifth in Hobbs last August after going 2-for-2, and it won't surprise me to see him go perfect again this weekend.

Cody Whitney
Cody Whitney is a well-known name in the sport of bull riding.  He didn't enter many CBR events in 2010, but he won an event and finished 20th in 2009.  It looks like he is going to be around a little more in 2011, and that starts this Saturday night in New Mexico.  He is coming off a fourth-place finish in the average at the 2010 WNFR, so he should have some confidence heading into the new season.  It's great to see him back in the CBR, and if he enters enough events, he can be a factor all season.

Stevo Keighley
Stevo Keighley may not be a household name like some of the others on this list, but there is a good chance fans will be seeing a lot more of him in 2011.  No CBR rider has started the new season better than the Florida bull rider, and he is currently at the top of the CINCH CBR World Standings.  Keighley won the first Horizon Series event of the new season, and he is coming off a third-place finish in Jackson, TN, last weekend.  I'm excited to see how he performs under the bright lights.

Ednei Caminhas
Ednei Caminhas will be making his CINCH CBR Tour debut in Hobbs, and there will be a lot of people excited to see how he will perform in Championship Bull Riding.  He has won a World Title in the past, and he is currently eighth in the 2011 standings.  He is going to ride a lot of bulls this season, and that's going to keep him near the top of the standings all year.  Caminhas is capable of winning every time he enters, and it would be a big story if he started the season with a win this weekend.