by Jim Bainbridge | Aug 09, 2014
SIKESTON, Mo. – Last weekend, bull rider J.W. Harris retook the world standings lead for the first time in five months. This weekend, he wasted little time putting some distance between himself and the rest of the field.
Harris is on the type of roll that only he seems to be able to get on every year. The four-time and defending world champion entered three rodeos this weekend. He won them all.
The best of his three winning rides came at the Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo in Sikeston, where he tied the best bull ride of 2014 with a 93-point trip on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s Stiff Drink, earning $4,780.
“I had seen that bull for a long time, and always wanted to get on him,” Harris said of Stiff Drink. “He’s one of the best bulls going right now, and he’s dang sure one of the best Rafter H’s has.”
The ride tied Clayton Foltyn’s 93 at the San Antonio (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo which was later equaled by Scottie Knapp at the Oakley City (Utah) Independence Day Rodeo and Chandler Bownds at last week’s Douglas County Fair Xtreme Bulls in Castle Rock, Colo.
“That ride felt like it could’ve been 100 (points),” Harris said. “He made me work my butt off to stay on him. He dropped each shoulder and got really fast and was doing everything he could to throw me off, and luckily I was able to stay in the middle.”
Harris, who regained the world standings lead from rookie Sage Kimzey on Aug. 9 – the first time he was the world leader since Feb. 24 – wasn’t done by any means.
He also won the title in Lovington, N.M., at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, which, like Sikeston, is a silver rodeo on the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour, presented by Justin Boots.
Harris rode for 91 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Thunder Cat in Lovington, earning $5,076.
“Those two rides were completely different,” Harris said of Sikeston and Lovington. “Both of the bulls bucked hard, but the one tonight in Sikeston was a lot of speed and change of direction and kick. The one in Lovington had all the timing in the world. They were both great bulls.”
As if winning those two big rodeos wasn’t enough, Harris also won the Crossett (Ark.) Riding Club PRCA Rodeo with an 84-point effort on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Bowser, earning another $3,158.
“I wish it was like this every weekend,” Harris said. “Tonight, somebody told me that I should share some of the wins, and I told them that I don’t like to share, and I don’t play well with others.”
Harris is known for his late-season pushes in which he racks up a bunch of rodeo titles and checks in a short amount of time. This year, he’s not waiting until the last month of the season.
“I’d like to say I’m starting my winning roll early this year, instead of waiting like last year,” he said. “But you don’t sit there and reflect on the wins too much. The bulls don’t read the results page and know how well you’re riding, and they don’t care, so you always have to be ready for the next one.”
Other winners at the $173,825 rodeo were all-around champion Kyle Whitaker ($3,469 in tie-down roping and steer wrestling), bareback rider Orin Larsen (90 points on Pickett Rodeo’s Scarlett Fever), steer wrestler Whitaker (8.7 seconds on two head), team ropers Coleman Proctor and Jake Long (9.9 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Bradley Harter (85 points on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s Spade), tie-down roper Sterling Smith (17.0 seconds on two head) and barrel racer Sabra O’Quinn (16.38 seconds).
For in-depth coverage of the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, be sure to read the Aug. 29 edition of the ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA