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J.W. Harris, a four-time world champion bull rider, is scheduled up tonight as the 76th Annual Lawton Rangers Rodeo begins at the LO Ranch Arena east of Lawton. Harris is ticketed to ride bull 7X during the final event of the night as a fitting close to the “Family Night” performance of the Rangers Rodeo. Harris came onto the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit in 2005 and was nearly out of money until he won the short-go at Cheyenne that year, claiming $10,000 that would save his career.

Rangers Rodeo takes off tonight

Harris’ resilience will get quick test from bull 7X

Don't ever overlook J.W. Harris  he may be a bit older than the other top bull riders but with four world championship gold buckles already tucked away in the trophy case  there is still a good deal of life left in the Texas cowboy.

Tonight Harris is scheduled to ride the bull 7X from the pen of Dillon Page  who is serving as a sub-contractor for the Beutler and Son Rodeo Company  and if Harris can stay aboard there is a good chance he could take the early lead in the 76th Anniversary Lawton Rangers Rodeo and earn a share of a purse estimated to reach $120,000.

Performances start tonight and run until Saturday 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.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the gate. Children ages 6 to 12 are admitted for $6. 

And the great thing about tonight's rodeo is that it's Family Night where a family of five  parents and up to three children  will be admitted for $25. Then on Thursday it will be "Two for One" night where a couple can enter the grounds for the price of one ticket. 

Friday is Pink Night and the Rangers will donate $1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the Leah Fitch Cancer Center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital.

Advance tickets are currently on sale at all Lawton E-Z Go Stores and Crutchers for the West, Reuben's Shoes, Atwoods, and Fort Sill Adventure Travel Welcome Center.

Harris came onto the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit in 2005 and was in trouble and almost out of money when he won the short-go at Cheyenne that year and the $10,000 rescued his career. He invested much of the money in mutual funds and used the rest to enter rodeos and a year later during his sophomore season he qualified for the National Finals Rodeo and he's been returning to the grand event in Las Vegas every year thereafter. 

The Mullin, Texas  it's located about 100 miles straight west of Waco  cowboy grew up on a ranch where his father worked and the cowboy style of life just came naturally. These days he's raising cattle  including bucking bulls  and making as many rodeos as he can.

Last weekend he earned just enough money to shoot to the top spot in the world standings with $104,424, giving him a lead of about $1,200 over Sage Kimzey of Strong City, the son of veteran rodeo clown Ted Kimzey. Kimzey may actually have a better draw here at the Rangers Rodeo as he's drawn No. 980, Game On, from the Beutler and Son Rodeo Company. Game On was solid earlier this year when Corey Maier rode him for an 85 that claimed the title at the North Platt, Neb. PRCA rodeo.

The Lawton Constitution

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