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Harris wins Del Rio XBulls Division 1 event


DEL RIO, Texas – J.W. Harris knows what it takes to be a PRCA world champion.

The Goldthwaite, Texas, cowboy has won four world titles – 2008-2010 and 2013 – and he wants to capture No. 5.

To reach that goal, Harris plans on making a push starting now – and he gave his plight a jolt at the 41st George Paul Memorial Xtreme Bulls Division 1 event.

Harris won the average at the two-day event – April 27-28 – with 179.5 points on two head.

“I did what I could do, and I was happy to see it hold up,” Harris said. “It was really cool to win this event.”

The event is held in honor of ProRodeo Hall of Fame bull rider George Paul. Paul, who was inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1979, once made qualified rides on 79 bulls in a row. In 1968, he won the world bull riding championship. A pilot who owned his own airplane, Paul was killed while flying between rodeos in Colorado and Wyoming on July 30, 1970, cutting short what surely would have been a brilliant career. Bobby Paul, George’s brother, is the event producer.

Harris made both his rides April 27 – he started with a superb, 89-point ride on 4L & Diamond S’s Floating Fury and then clinched the victory with a 90.5-point ride on Rafter G’s J Lazy in the short round.

“My first bull was a young bull that didn’t have a whole lot of outs at rodeos and the flankman Scott Pickens told me he was good, and he sure was good,” Harris said. “He bucked, and he was a lot of fun to ride. My short round bull had been to the NFR. I had never been on him before, but he was like he always is. He went out there and bucked the best he could, and he gave me a shot at it. It felt really good to get those two scores.”

Garrett Smith won Round 2 at the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with an 87-point ride on J Lazy.

Harris was sitting 32nd in the latest RAM PRCA World Standings with $14,731 but will move up after earning $15,020 in Del Rio.

“I feel good and I’m riding good,” Harris said. “We’re getting into the summer, so it is time to start rockin’ and rollin’.”

Harris has competed on a limited schedule during PRCA’s winter run so he could focus on his family.

“My kids (daughter and son) have been playing softball and T-Ball, and I have been trying to make sure I’m home for them because we are coaching both of their teams,” Harris said. “For the most part I’ve been sticking close to home and they each only have one game left, so now it will be rodeo time.”

Harris’ daughter, Aubrey, is 7 and his son, Dillon, is 5. J.W. and his wife, Jackie, share coaching duties with their children’s softball and baseball squads.

“That was a big reason why I came back to rodeoing, because I could make my own schedule and not miss anything that my kids are doing, and it has been good,” said Harris, 31. “I’m shooting to win a world championship. If that’s not what you’re shooting for, I don’t know why you would do it. You just need to get there (to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo). I feel like every time I show up I have a chance and that’s the approach I’m going to take at it.”

For more coverage of the 41st George Paul Memorial Xtreme Bulls Division 1 event, check out the May 4 edition of the ProRodeo Sports News.

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