2011 Hobbs Tuff Hedeman Championship Bull Riding Recap

The 2011 CINCH CBR Tour kicked things off this past Saturday night in Hobbs, NM, and it was a great start to the new season.  Three-time PRCA World Champion J.W. Harris started 2011 with a victory and moved all the way to 11th in the CINCH CBR World Standings.  He made two great rides and was a very deserving winner.  The All Star/Cooper bull team won the Bull Team Challenge in Hobbs, and they won $22,500 in the process.  The bull power was very strong, and the bull riders brought their best as well.  All in all, it was an outstanding event.

I wrote down several notes during the event, and I'm going to share some of them.  Here are five thoughts I have after the first event of the 2011 CINCH CBR Tour.  If you have anything to add, please visit our Facebook page and give your input.  Also, you an always email me at:  Enjoy!

The Hobbs Crowd Was Awesome

I've been to several CBR events over the past four or five months, and the crowd Saturday night in Hobbs was the best I've seen so far.  The CBR moved the start time back 15 or 20 minutes because so many people were lined up to buy tickets.  Once everyone got settled in, they were full of energy the entire event.

I'm not sure if a great crowd helps the bull riders or bulls, but it definitely seemed like the Hobbs crowd helped take things up a notch.  The fans who showed up Saturday night should be proud of themselves, and I'm looking forward to the event in 2012.  I'm also laying out the challenge to all other venues on the 2011 CINCH CBR Tour.  The fans in Hobbs were great, and now it's time to show you can be great as well.

J.W. Harris Made An Immediate Impact
J.W. Harris is quite possibly the best bull rider in the world right now, and it's always great to see him in Championship Bull Riding.  He didn't waste any time making an impact on the 2011 CINCH CBR World Standings.  He made two great rides, including his 91-point effort on Directory Assistance in the Championship Round.  He was never in trouble Saturday night, and when he rides like that, he is nearly unbeatable.  Harris is going to be a huge factor in this year's CBR World Title race.

Other riders who deserve some credit include Cody Atwood, Chandler Bownds, Bonner Bolton, and Bradley Harris.  Atwood has ridden well on the Horizon Series so far this season, and I was wondering how well he would do under the bright lights.  He rode two bulls and finished second, and he also sent out the message he is going to be one to watch in 2011.  Bownds, Bolton, and Harris have had past success at the CINCH CBR Tour level, and they each started the season by going 2-for-2 and finishing in the top five.

Congratulations Are in Order for the All Star/Cooper Bull Team
The All Star/Cooper bull team has already had success in the past, and they were the best of the best in Hobbs.  The 2010 CBR Bull of the Year Dakota Magic's Double Scoop gets a lot of credit and rightfully so, but the other bulls deserve a mention as well.  Bryce Cooper is starting to put together a pretty solid pen of bulls.  Call To Duty and Curly Bob were both ridden for scores in the high 80s, and although IMABADCAT wasn't a part of the bull team, he was one of the rankest bulls out Saturday night.  This team is going to be tough to beat in 2011.

A couple new bull team franchises deserve some credit as well.  The Washburn Company won an open bull team challenge last season, but this was their first 2011 CBR Million Dollar Bull Team Challenge event.  They placed fifth with Chocolate Joey, Black Canada, and Daddy's Boy.  Jatt Bucking Bulls also made their team debut in Hobbs, and they finished sixth.  The team included Moon Shadow, Soul Shaker, and Smokin Aces.  It's great to see the new bull teams show up and have early success.  Congrats to all the teams that placed Saturday night.

First-Event Struggles From Some of the CBR's Best Riders
Overall, the bull riders rode very well Saturday night.  However, it was surprising to see several of the world's best have a tough night in the arena.  2010 CBR World Champion Luke Kelley was one of the first riders out, and he bucked off fairly quickly.  I expected him to contend for the long-round win and be a factor in the Championship Round as well.  However, it was a short night for the reigning champ.  Steve Woolsey and Jake Littlefield, two more top-five guys from 2010, also bucked off in the long round.  Woolsey was the only draw back in the Championship Round, however, and he made the most of it with an 87.5-point ride.  It was still a shock to see him buck off Air Patrick in the long round.

Three other notable riders who had short nights in Hobbs are Wesley Silcox, Cody Whitney, and Ednei Caminhas.  Silcox and Whitney both had solid finishes at the 2010 WNFR, but things didn't work out well for them Saturday night.  Caminhas moved himself inside the top 10 in the season standings heading into Hobbs, but his CINCH CBR Tour debut didn't go as planned.  He gave a great effort, but he still received a no score in his only out in New Mexico.  These guys won't struggle many times this season, but it was a surprise to see them go 0-for-1 to start the new season.

Best Bulls From the Event
I always enjoy giving credit to the rank bulls at each event, and Bahada was the best I saw in Hobbs this past Saturday night.  He was a part of the Crowded 6 Ranch bull team, but he is owned and hauled by Kevin Loudamy.  Loudamy said he has looked great lately and that he expected great things.  He was right.  Bahada was extremely impressive in bucking off Wrangler Dunda in the Championship Round.  I'm looking forward to seeing him more in 2011.

The bulls from Sullivan Cattle Company also deserve some credit.  Ramrod was the high-marked bull at the event, and he was out in the long round.  Black Ice was also very impressive in bucking off top-five rider Stevo Keighley.  The Mexican was Sullivan's Championship Round bull, and he was impressive as well.  This trio will be fun to watch this season.  Danny Reagan also had a couple impressive bulls in Hobbs.  Medicine Ridge wasn't a part of a bull team, but he was one of the rankest out.  John Doe, the "Facebook Name the Bull Contest" bull, was also very solid in his CINCH CBR Tour debut.

Two other bulls I want to mention are One Eyed Jack and Gringo Honeymoon.  They were both out in the Championship Round, and both were ridden for 90.5 points.  In a bull team event, it's key to have bulls the guys can score well on.  Both of these young bulls impressed me, and they are going to be great draws or picks in the future.  Chandler Bownds rode One Eyed Jack for 90.5 points, and it could have been more points.  Gringo Honeymoon had been ridden for 90 points a couple weeks back at an XTreme Bulls event, so I was excited to see him.  He didn't disappoint.  Both of these bulls could end up being factors in the 2011 Neckover CBR Bull of the Year race.