OKLAHOMA CITY – On Tuesday, Bradley Harter was sitting at his home in Loranger, La., with no big plans for his weekend.
That’s when he got a phone call from an official at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association asking if he would be interested in being a saddle bronc riding replacement at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo for the injured Sterling Crawley.
“They called me two days ago to replace him,” said Harter, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “Thank God I was sitting at home and had nothing to do, so I hoped in the car and came up here.”
That was an 11-hour drive from southern Louisiana to Oklahoma City, but this is ProRodeo’s National Championship. Harter made the trip pay off, riding Powder River Rodeo’s Lipstick N Whisky for 86 points to win the first round at State Fair Arena.
“I had a many-time NFR horse that they win rounds on,” Harter said of the athletic bay. “I was really excited to see that was the horse I had.”
He earned $4,525 and holds the momentum heading into the final two days of competition. The second round is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday – because of the sheer number of contestants, it takes two performances to get all 192 contestants a shot at the go-round money. The contestants with the top eight cumulative times or scores after two go-rounds qualify for the semifinals, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
“The setup here at Oklahoma City is great for everybody,” Harter said. “The payoff is excellent. We get to come get on great bucking horses, ride for good money and you can win a voucher for a pickup. Other than being a world champion and going to the NFR, this is the next biggest step in rodeo.”
Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo
April 4-6, Oklahoma City
First round results
Bareback riding: 1. Caleb Bennett, Morgan, Utah, 84 points on Bar T Rodeo’s Beatrice, $4,525; 2. Jared Keylon, Uniontown, Kan., 83, $3,428; 3. (tie) Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., Casey Colletti, Pueblo, Colo., and Tim O’Connell, Zwingle, Iowa, 82, $1,691; 6. (tie) George Gillespie IV, Placerville, Calif., Zach Curran, Pavillion, Wyo., Davis, Power, Mont., and Wes Stevenson, Lubbock, Texas, 81, $171.
Steer wrestling: 1. Clayton Hass, Terrell, Texas, 3.7 seconds, $4,525; 2. Stockton Graves, Alva, Okla., 3.9, $3,428; 3. Jason Miller, Lance Creek, Wyo., 4.3, $2,468; 4. Sean Santucci, Prineville, Ore., 4.4, $1,645; 5. (tie) Seth Brockman, Wheatland, Wyo., and Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb., 4.7, $823.
Tie-down roping: 1. Jared Ferguson, Cottonwood, Calif., 8.2 seconds, $4,525; 2. Scott Kormos, Teague, Texas, 8.4, $3,428; 3. Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho, 8.9, $2,468; 4. Dane Kissack, Spearfish, S.D., 9.3, $1,645; 5. Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore., 9.4, $960; 6. Chase Johnston, Kersey, Colo., 9.6, $686.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Bradley Harter, Weatherford, Texas, 86 points on Powder River Rodeo’s Lipstick n Whiskey, $4,525; 2. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 85, $3,428; 3. Jacobs Crawley, College Station, Texas, 83, $2,468; 4. Curtis Garton, New Zealand, 80, $1,645; 5. Cole Elshere, Faith, S.D., 79, $960. 6 (tie) Jake Wright, Milford, Utah, Cody Taton, Corona, N.M., and Jesse Wright, Milford, Utah, 78, $229.
Team roping: 1. tie) Troy Kitchener, Liberty, Mo./Chad Mathes, Lawson, Mo., and Hunter Munsell, Arnett, Okla./Derrick Jantzen, Ames, Okla., 5.3 seconds, $3,976; 3. Derrick Begay, Seba Dalkai, Ariz./Cesar de la Cruz, Tucson, Ariz., 5.5, $2,468; 4. Shane Erickson, Terrebonne, Ore./Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 5.6, $1,645; 5. Miles Kobold, Billings, Mont./Matt Robertson, Augusta, , 5.9, $960; 6. Marcus Battaglia, Ramona, Calif./Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif., 6.0, $686.
Barrel racing: 1. Carlee Pierce, Stephenville, Texas, 15.42 seconds, $4,525; 2. Cindy Smith, Hobbs, N.M., 15.56, $3,428; 3. (tie) Theresa Walter, Billings, Mont., and Tana Renick, Kingston, Okla., 15.59, $2,057; 5. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 15.61, $960; 6. Pamela Capper, Cheney, Wash., 15.67, $686.
Bull riding: 1. Dylan Werner, Perry, Fla., 89 points on Andrews Rodeo’s Jaw Bender, $4,525; 2. John Young, Orient, Iowa, 84, $3,428; 3. Bryce Brown, Greenview, Calif., 78, $2,468; no other qualified rides.