by ProRodeo.com | Jun 10, 2014
Stan Harter, a four-time qualifier for the National Finals Rodeo as a tie-down roper and a former collegiate national champion, died June 9 of an apparent heart attack in Gilbert, Ariz. He was 71.
Harter became a member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association (precursor to the PRCA) in 1965, making his pro debut in Scottsdale, Ariz., and soon became a steady winner on the pro rodeo road, qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City from 1970-73.
His best season was 1970, his first full season on the road, when he finished fifth in the world after regular-season wins in Houston and Oakdale, Calif., and was 19th in the all-around. He placed in five of 10 rounds in his first NFR to finish fifth in the tie-down roping average and was among the top five in the average standings in three of his four NFR appearances.
A serious knee injury suffered during a tie-down roping competition in Salem, Ore., in 1974 put Harter out of action for a year, but he came back to twice win the Turquoise Circuit year-end title (1978-79) and the Turquoise Circuit Finals Rodeo in 1978.
Harter was something of a late starter in rodeo – concentrating on football in high school – and did not hit his stride as a timed-event cowboy until he started competing on the Arizona State University team in the 1960s.
He won the tie-down roping and ribbon roping championships at the 1966 College National Finals Rodeo in Vermillion, S.D., and finished fourth in the steer wrestling, tie-down roping and all-around two years later at the CNFR in Sacramento, Calif.
Harter graduated from ASU with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, maintaining a 3.4 grade point average.
Courtesy of PRCA