Saddle bronc rider Bradley Harter didn’t want to end his PRCA career this way.
The veteran cowboy scratched and clawed his way to qualify for his 11th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2019, only to have to miss the final seven rounds with a left hamstring injury.
Harter, who lives in Loranger, La., split second in Round 1 with an 86.5-point ride on Sutton Rodeo’s West Texas, earning $18,192.
Unfortunately, Harter’s Wrangler NFR was sabotaged in Round 2 when he suffered an avulsion to his left hamstring when he was bucked off Wayne Vold Rodeo’s One More Reason, Dec. 6. He tried to ride in Round 3 but was bucked off Korkow Rodeo’s Bad Onion, which resulted in him deciding to sit out the remainder of the NFR.
“They thought I tore it (the hamstring) a couple of millimeters, but when (Dr. Tandy Freeman) went in there it was four inches off the bone,” said Harter, who had surgery in late December. “He had to pull it up and screw it back in. I have been rehabbing every day, and I’m planning to be back in July.”
The untimely injury caused Harter to change his rodeo career plans.
“Here’s the deal, I was actually thinking about possibly retiring after last year’s NFR,” said Harter, 38. “It was my 11th time. I had to fight real hard to get there, and I was riding the best I ever had. It was going to be a great week, and then I tore my hamstring in the second round. I’m getting older, I have two kids and I want to retire, but I can’t go out like that. This pandemic kind of played into my pocket because I have money won from last fall and I’m in the mix to get into the Top 15.”
Harter, who competed at the Wrangler NFR in 2005-06, 2008-15 and 2019, believes his hamstring is improving.
“I feel great,” he said. “I go see Tandy in a month. It depends what he says, but I feel good. I’m sure I’m going to be a little rusty, but that’s to be expected. I want to go out on my own terms. I want to go out healthy, but I dang sure don’t want to go out laying on my back in Round 2 (in 2019) and say, well, it was a great career, thanks for coming.”
Courtesy of PRCA