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Harris headlines bull riding entries

One of the greatest bull riders of all time, four-time world champion J.W. Harris is entered in the 76th Anniversary Lawton Rangers Rodeo and the great thing is that the popular champion will ride on opening night, which just happens to be "Family Night" which should make for an interesting performance.

Performances will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 6, and run until Saturday, Aug. 9, at the LO Ranch Arena east of Lawton. The action opens each night at 7:30 p.m. with the colorful grand entry and the opening ceremonies, followed promptly by the first action in the arena.

When the entry books closed on July 11, the PROCOM sheets showed a total of 424 cowboys and cowgirls in the field. However, the total number of entries is higher since many competitors compete in more than one event, pushing the numbers a bit higher. At the 2013 Rangers Rodeo, the 481 contestants entered and the year before that the number was a little higher at 493 contestants.

And while the entry list is a little lower  that's been a national trend with higher fuel costs  the quality is still excellent with a host of contestants who are currently ranked in the Top 20 in the world standings. The greatest cowboy Trevor Brazile, the most dominating all-around cowboy in history, is in the field along with fellow reigning world champions Jade Corkill and Clay Tryan in team roping and Harris in bull riding. 

Harris is obviously the biggest name up on opening night, but anyone who follows rodeo knows that bull riding is the event where there is a new cast of characters every year as the career of a bull rider is not more than four or five years on the norm. So, Harris doesn't qualify for that group as he's been riding on the PRCA circuit for eight years and doesn't appear to be slowing down at all. He's been among the most consistent of all cowboys, making the National Finals Rodeo every year since he joined the PRCA.

We will not know what bull from the Beutler and Son Rodeo Company that Harris will have to challenge until Monday, Aug. 4 when the stock draw is performed at the PRCA headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

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