Bradley Harris won the bull riding title at the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals
on Thursday night; he just didn’t know it until Saturday.
Harris, of Udall, Kan., scored 90 points on Silver Creek Rodeo’s Rising Sun to win the first round of this year’s championship event. It was the highest scored ride of the three-day event, but also it secured Harris’ first circuit championship of his young career. There were only four qualified rides in this year’s finale, and Harris had two of them to win the average title and secure his qualification to the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, set for next spring in Oklahoma City.
“It means everything,” said Harris, who rode Frontier Rodeo’s Hideout for 73 points on Saturday night to wrap the weekend at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center. “The end of my season didn’t go very good; I didn’t win as much money as I wanted, so I kind of reset my goals to come to the finals and win it since I
wasn’t going to win enough money to win the year-end.
“I just kept my hand shut, and it paid off.”
Yes, it did. In addition to qualifying for ProRodeo’s national championship, Harris earned $4,080 in Duncan. He’ll join Guthrie Murray of Miami, who won the year-end title by just $164 over veteran Corey Navarre of Weatherford.
While Harris secured his championship early, saddle bronc rider Jesse James Kirby of Dodge City, Kan., waited until his last horse to clinch the year-end title. Kirby earned his third Prairie Circuit championship by winning the third go-round Saturday night, scoring an 83-point ride on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Shasta. That $1,174 helped the Kansas cowboy edge Bobby Griswold of Geary, Okla., by $1,064.
“I rodeoed throughout the year going to circuit rodeos, but yet I was going after the NFR,” Kirby said of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale. “I only went to 19 rodeos in the circuit, compared to everybody that went to 28-30 rodeos this year. My goal was to make the NFR, but I had another goal to win the Prairie Circuit.
“I’m tickled to death. It means a lot.”
Hardy Braden of Welch and Cody Hamm of Minneapolis, Kan., shared the bronc riding average title, scoring 225 points on three rides. Other winners were bareback riders Jared Keylon (average) and Caine Riddle (year-end); steer wrestlers Stockton Graves (average) and Dean Gorsuch (year-end); team ropers Destry Graham and Jimmy Thomas (average) and Hunter Munsell (year-end header) and Derrick Jantzen (year-end heeler); tie-down roper Bryson Sechrist (average) and Hunter Herrin (year-end); and barrel racers P.J. Burger (average) and Tana Renick (year-end).
“It’s breathtaking to win this,” Burger said of winning the average title.” It’s everything you’d dream it’d be. It’s a tough group of girls. It’s the toughest in the Prairie Circuit. To make three solid, good runs against the best of the best, it’s good.”