When the Fort Worth Stock Show’s Bulls’ Night Out title was at stake Wednesday night, four-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association champion J.W. Harris hung on just long enough.
Harris, who lives in Mullin, literally was hanging onto the side of a bull named Crack The Whip at the 8-second buzzer. It was a wild ride that capped the two-hour, sold-out performance at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
“You just have to stay on,” Harris said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s pretty or ugly.”
The judges awarded Harris a second-round score of 88, which helped him win a share of the title. After turning in an 87 in the first round, Harris finished with a two-ride aggregate score of 175.
Harris tied for first place with Aaron Pass of Dallas, who recorded a 175 on Tuesday.
Harris earned $6,685. Pass, who picked up a little more cash than Harris in the prelims, pocketed $6,715.
During the first round, Harris turned in the 87 aboard a bovine named Sandi’s Dream, which is owned by the 4L & Diamond Rodeo Co., to advance to the 10-man Short Round.
When he mounted Crack The Whip, which also is owned by 4L & Diamond, Harris started off clean, but then got out of position at the end of the ride and barely made the buzzer.
However, Harris said he was elated that he managed to stay on for the 8-second count.
“That bull was moving away from me the whole time, trying to drop me off,” Harris said. “I just had to keep my hand closed, hoping it stayed in there until the whistle blew.”
Harris clinched his fourth PRCA title at the Dec. 5-14 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. He also won in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
A year ago, Randall Carlisle, who graduated from Lipan High School in 2005 and lives in Baton Rouge, La., won the Fort Worth Stock Show’s tie-down roping title. Carlisle also stands a chance of winning this year.
Carlisle took the lead in the first round Wednesday after turning in a time of 8.0 in the tie-down slack performance.
The slack performance featured the overflow of competitors not scheduled to make their first-round run in the main shows. The PRCA rodeo’s main shows begin Friday night and the 16-day rodeo runs through Feb. 8.
Adam Gray, Cory Solomon and Chant DeForest each turned in times of 8.4 Wednesday to tie for second in the first round.
Carlisle earned $14,796 by winning the Fort Worth Stock Show last year, which played a major role in helping him earn his first National Finals berth.
At the Las Vegas championships, Carlisle earned $30,348 and finished 14th in the PRCA 2013 tie-down roping world race with $90,921.