Bronc rider makes most of trip to Florida
February 25, 2015
Bradley Harter was informed the night before he was to travel to Kissimmee for the 132nd Silver Spurs Rodeo that the horse he drew would no longer be his mount. It worked out just fine.
The 33-year-old saddle bronc rider from Weatherford, Texas, scored 80 points aboard Silver Spurs Club's Romeo to take the title and earn $5,048.
"I had drawn a horse that got injured on Friday, so I didn't know what I had," said Harter, who made his ride on Feb. 21. "The horse I ended up getting on was a good one. He's an old horse and has been around since my rookie year (2002), and I've gotten to see him a lot over the years. I always wanted to get on him, and I was talking about how I wanted him as my re-ride horse, and then I got him."
Harter's score edged out big names such as reigning World Champion Spencer Wright and 10-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Cody DeMoss.
The fact that the Silver Spurs Rodeo's committee raised its purse from $5,000 to $14,000 in each roughstock event this year made the smile on Harter's face even bigger.
"This is a great rodeo that I always try to go down there for, but anytime a rodeo increases their money from $5,000 to $14,000, it's clear they're trying to make it better for us," Harter said. "A win like this means a lot; a $5,000 check under your belt this early in the season helps your confidence and makes things easier down the road. It makes you sleep easier at night."
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A fast start to the 2015 season is just what the doctor ordered for Harter. He's a veteran of the rodeo road, and no stranger to success, having been to the WNFR nine times, including each of the last seven years.
However, his last three trips to Las Vegas haven't gone as planned – he's finished 15th in the world from 2012-14. It has taken his motivation to a new level.
"I hate thinking about it," he said of the last three WNFRs. "Whenever you leave Las Vegas there's two types of people who are motivated: the guys who were 16-20th and had to watch it on TV, and the guy who finished 15th and didn't have a good NFR.
"Rodeo is a very humbling sport, and I've had the highs and the lows. When you have a 27-hour drive home after having a disappointing Finals, it makes you want to stare adversity in the face and work harder."
He says wins like his in Kissimmee can go a long way as the season progresses.
"It's expensive to be out on the road rodeoing, and it's everybody's goal to be a world champion, so the $5,000 checks are what get you to the NFR," Harter said. "I want to earn a check every time I nod my head, and a win like this is great."
Other winners at the $131,928 rodeo were all-around cowboy Jordan Thrasher ($2,472, tie-down roping and steer wrestling), bareback rider Kaycee Feild (83 points on Silver Spurs Club's Ned Ross), steer wrestler Clint Thomas (5.7 seconds), team ropers Jimmy Tanner and Shawn Harris (5.6 seconds), tie-down roper Ben Mayworth (8.0 seconds), bull rider Cody Teel (86 points on Silver Spurs Club's Cat Can Do) and barrel racer Jennifer Mosley (15.56 seconds).
Saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss – a 10-time Wrangler NFR qualifier and five-time reserve world champion – continued his hot start to the 2015 season over the weekend. The 34-year-old DeMoss was second in Kissimmee, and won both the Georgia Junior Livestock Show & Rodeo in Perry, and the Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo in Hattiesburg, Miss. DeMoss earned a total of $5,825 and expanded his lead in the world standings to $10,291 over second-place Joe Lufkin. DeMoss has also already qualified for the semifinals of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo and is currently tied for third in San Angelo. His total earnings of $29,085 so far in 2015 are the most of any cowboy in a single event, with tie-down roper Monty Lewis second at $22,033.