Passing it Forward

Aaron Pass, who was selected thru a nationwide fan-voting contest as the “Smokey Mountain Fan Favorite” bull rider of CBR for 2014, donated his buckle to Hayleigh Deann Lansford, one of CBR’s most devoted bull riding fans, who was on hand to see Pass receive his accolades courtesy of Smokey Mountain.  

We could stop right there in profiling Aaron Pass and that says it all. 

But as an athlete his accolades are just as impressive as his integrity and character.

His accomplishments include titles of 2006 and 2007 UPRA Champion, 2004 Texas High School Rodeo Region 4 Bull Riding Champion, 2014 National Finals Rodeo qualifier, 45 career go round wins, and for the sixth time he heads to the World Finals of Championship Bull Riding.

Aaron Pass is arguably one of the preeminent bull riders on the professional circuit today. He is without doubt one of the most enjoyable guys to be around on the road, but then again how goes the saying, “nice guys finish last”? Well this nice guy does not.  

Perseverance and hard work became Pass’s most recent identity when in 2014 he rededicated himself to bull riding, a key to his two year cycle of success. 

For the second consecutive year Pass took over the #1 ranking early in the 2014-15 CBR World Standings after a strong showing including two 90 point plus rides in Mercedes, Texas on October 18th. He was on the Mahindra Road to Cheyenne nine times with seven of those appearances resulting in 90 point plus scored rides. 

The cowboy from the Dallas suburb of Kaufman, Texas finished 2014, with a 42% riding average, twenty-five 90 point plus rides including his career best in 2013 when he was 93 points on Norris Dalton’s Shine Time in El Paso, Texas. Pass has racked up 36+ championship wins in regular season bull riding and made the Final Four Shootout round six times since CBR changed its event format to the tournament style rounds in 2013.

Pass is no stranger to the post season either; qualifying for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2014, finishing 3rd in the 2014 CBR World Standings, Aaron has been to the CBR World Finals 5 times finishing in the top 10 three of the five appearances.

The mild mannered father of two little girls rarely shows anything but lightheartedness in his emotions, never too busy for an interview or autograph, but make no mistake, he is all business inside the bucking chute. His motto is he lets his riding speak for himself in the arena. 

The highlight of this season was last October in Mercedes Texas where Pass became one of three riders to ever post a qualified ride on Jimmy Jaynes’ super bucker Outside the Box, but still came up .5 points shy of the event win. Pass’s attitude was once again positive as he finished second with a check of $23,000, and with that came a streak of confidence as he headed into the NFR where he won 2 rounds.

Pass did not grow up riding horses, working with cattle or any of the other things that typical ranch kids do. Born and raised in Dallas, he is a self-proclaimed “city boy”.

Pass got his start in the bull riding world with help from his cousin Bryan Richardson, a three-time Wrangler NFR qualifier who is eight-years-older than the 25-year-old Pass. 

In February of 2013 Pass survived a bull riding wreck that gave him notoriety with a viral video with over 6,000 shares on Facebook.  He came off early and when his spur got caught in his bull rope, the bull drug him around, and tossed him in the air repeatedly.

Pass was not seriously injured and with his trademark of perseverance at his side, he rode at the CBR event the next night in Lufkin, Texas and scored 91 points. 

After six years in the CBR, we have seen Pass ride on top of the leaderboard more than not. He enters Cheyenne in the #13 position, but you can bet that number will rise before the final standings are reported.