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Four-time world champ J.W. Harris retires: ' I would rather be home'

JW Harris NFR.png
Posted at 7:32 AM, Jun 02, 2021

(Editor's note: PRCA release)

The decorated ProRodeo journey for superstar bull rider J.W. Harris has come to an end.

Harris, a four-time PRCA world champion and a nine-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier confirmed to ProRodeo Sports News that he is retiring.

"Man, I would just rather be home," said Harris, 34. "I'm just tired of going up and down the road. I've been fortunate enough to make a living in this sport and made lots of great friends. I got to see a lot of places a lot of people don't get to see in their lifetime. There are guys who don't get to ride bulls for five years and I've been very blessed to do this for a living and do it for as long as I have. I'm one of the few guys who got to do this for this long."

Harris' last ride was at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show & Rodeo Xtreme Bulls in Mercedes, Texas, May 12 when he failed to register a score.

"I've been seeing the writing on the wall because the last few (rodeos) I went by myself because my kids would be in school or whatnot and I just didn't want to be there (at the rodeo)," Harris said. "I was wanting them to hurry up the rodeo so I could get back on the road and go home. When I came home from Mercedes, I was like, I think this is it."

Harris won back-to-back-to-back world titles from 2008-10 and added his fourth in 2013. He made nine consecutive NFRs from 2006-14.

Harris and his wife, Jackie, have a daughter, Aubrey, 10, and a son, Dillon, 8. Outside of rodeo, Harris has been conditioning some yearlings.

"If you ride as long as I have the injuries take their toll," Harris said. "Your reaction time slows down due to the injuries piling up and things not working how they're supposed to. My riding style has changed in the last couple of years just to try and compensate for stuff. When I haven't been riding bulls, I've been doing cowboy stuff around the house and I kind of get to work when I want to, and I'm lucky on that part.

"Time with my wife and family is something I cherish. I've dragged them all over the country for years. My wife and I have been together since 2006 at the NFR, and she's been there every step of the way."

The Goldthwaite, Texas, cowboy, who joined the PRCA in 2005 and earned more than $2 million in ProRodeo, took a moment to reminisce about his fondest memories.

"Obviously the four world titles for sure," Harris said. "It's kind of hard to put it on one thing you're most proud of. If it wasn't for rodeo, I would have never met my wife and wouldn't have what I have today. It's all because of rodeo."