The Road to Reality

Sage Kimzey has declared he is in the hunt for his third CBR World title and it is no surprise to the thousands that follow his career that he is in the lead of the CBRís Road to Cheyenne World Standings as the calendar turns the page to 2017.

But in reality there are eleven events and over a half a million dollars lurking in the CBR bank for the rookies, veterans and newbies to claim along the Road to Cheyenne. In nine days, the televised CBR tour resumes with the bulk of the 2017 tour season packed into the next five months.

It is no surprise that the number one bull rider in the world is Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma is entered and ready to ride in the seasonís opener in Enid, Oklahoma on January 7.

ďIím going to try to go to every event this CBR season, in years past I have had to play catch up after the first few events and it really cost me in 2015. I had to miss a few events because of injury and then lost the title that year. That heartbreak made me realize how important every single bull in the CBR is. I plan on going to all the events and making all of the bulls I get on count,Ē said Kimzey.

Kimzey rode out of Las Vegas and into history less than thirty days ago as he captured his third Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association gold buckle in the bull riding category.

Kimzey who missed the CBRís first event in Huron still finished in the top five in three of the four events he entered and in two of those events he covered all three of his draws. Kimzey won Window Rock and took second in Laughlin with a 90 point ride in the Shootout, and although he missed the Final Four after riding both his first and second round draws in Conroe he finished fifth.

It is that consistency early in the current season that have him ranked the number one rider in Championship Bull Riding.

Sports commentators and industry experts often describe Kimzey as an athlete with no fear. It might appear that way if you weigh only the five world titles and gold buckles in his trophy room. But if you take a closer look at both the competition within the PRCA and CBR World Standings - there are many talented athletes and many miles of competition left to go before the story ends.

Over time many great philosophers have said, ďThe thought of fear itself is greater than what it is we fear.Ē


The Unknown

Rookie bull riders are sitting at second, fifth and seventh in the CBRís top ten standings as we turn the page on the calendar and look forward to the second half of the CBR season that resumes in nine days.

Eleven of the sixteen Road to Cheyenne tour events take place from January 7 to May 1 and kick off on January 7 in Enid, Oklahoma at the CBRís inaugural Battle on the Great Plains.

Last August the twelve month tour began with two unfamiliar faces capturing the early World Standings. Boudreaux Campbell and Bayle Worden took to the chutes for top five finishes in ALL of the CBRís elite televised tourís first quarter events. Campbell rode well enough to qualify for more Shootout Round appearances than any other CBR bull rider. 

Seven times the rookies made the final four man championship round with Campbell leading the statistics for both rookies and veterans with three (Huron, Window Rock, Mercedes) appearances and one tie (Laughlin) that ended not in his favor which left him in the top five but he did not advance to the final four shoot out round.

Campbell, a senior at Lovelady High School near Crockett, Texas, sits in the number two slot of the CBRís rankings after five events. He is 177 points, or two good scores, behind four time World Champion Sage Steele Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma. The former Texas High School Rodeo Champion has the highest riding percentage on this seasonís tour, however he is still in pursuit of that first event championship title.

Behind Campbell in the count of multiple Shootout Round appearances is six-time event champion and twice CBR World Champion, Sage Kimzey, and rookie rider Bayle Worden. Worden qualified in the final four in Huron and Conroe. Bayle Worden entered the top flight CBR tour after a stellar performance in the CBRís qualifying tour, the Horizon Series, on night one in Huron. Since then Worden has finished in the final four twice and sits seventh in the world headed into Enid.

23-year-old Worden is from Charleston, Texas and in addition to success on the Road to Cheyenne he won the PRCAís Extreme Bull Riding competition in Laramie in 2016.


The Known

But as scary as the unknown can be, some of the contenders on this yearís tour are well known to Kimzey and the rest of the field.

Eli Vastbinder had great consistency at the start to his 2015-17 CBR season. He won the Laughlin CBR and has ridden six of the eight bulls he has attempted in four event appearances. After missing Window Rock, the North Carolina cowboy came back to win Laughlin. In Conroe, he rode both his first and second round bulls, but lacked enough points to advance to the Final Four where that valuable third bull score can impact the points race. He is in third place in the current World Standings, 263 points off the lead. 

Taryl Smith is in fourth place after winning the season opener in Huron with a high scoring 92 point ride. Smith had a slight injury to his groin that kept him out of the Laughlin event. He rode one in Conroe, but did not hear the whistle in Mercedes.

NFR qualifier and round winner Jeff Askey rounds out the top 5 with perfect three for three performance in Conroe for the Conroe Bull Mania win. He outscored Colten Jesse in the final round after Jesseís second round win and went 91 points for the win. Askey is entered and awaiting the beginning of the CBRís second half. Askey finished strong at the the NFR with over $100,000 in the bank and a fourth place PRCA finish. Kimzey knows what a tough competitor he is and as a newcomer to the tour, he likes the challenge of the CBR three bull tournament style play.

Three time NFR qualifier and the reigning ERA Bull Riding Champion, Chandler Bownds, is back on the Road to Cheyenne with one event win (Mercedes) on the record. Bownds is the 2011 PRCA Rookie of the Year and has won events such as San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo, placed in multiple rounds at the NFR and is the 2010 Youth Bull Riding World Champion.

Veteran bull rider Lane Toon returned from injury to ride consistently in Laughlin and Conroe and make the Final Four in both cities. In addition to Bownds and Toon, Taryl Smith, and Eli Vastbinder also have event titles this season.

Nineteen year old Wyatt Rogers in his third CBR season is knocking at the door with two top 5 finishes, but has yet to be part of the Shootout Round action after finishing 8th in 2016 and fifth in his 2015 rookie year.