JW Harris Heads to Vegas to Attempt Five of a Kind

James William Harris, known to most as JW, was born in Coleman, Texas on July 14, 1986 and acquired that name from roughstock rider James Garlick and William, his great grandfather. He grew up in Peaster, Texas where his father worked on a ranch. When he was 15 he moved to the tiny Texas town of May, where he graduated high school and began to follow in the footsteps of his father, the 1989 Texas Circuit Rookie of the Year. 

Broke and almost out of money, Harris pulled his rope for what he thought was the last time at Cheyenne Frontier Days in July of 2005. He would win the short round and finish second in the average with a windfall of $10,000, enough to get to the next rodeo and pay the fees. He would continue to compete and end the PRCA year ranked 32nd with $35,192.

The JW Harris we know today has had a stellar bull riding career racking up 90 recorded 90 point plus ride scores thus far with the highest score occurring in 2007 at the Reno Extreme Bulls where he was 96 points on A69 Werewolf, a double bred Naccarato bred bull that is one of few bucking bulls to be selected in the same year for both the PBR and PRCA Finals (2007).  

In 2005, Championship Bull Riding saw JW Harris for the first time in the CBR final year-end World Standings.  

That same year he won the short round at Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo and finished second in the average he joined the CBR televised tours and for the next 9 seasons become a fixture among the top ten. His best year-end finish was 4th in 2009. Expecting to see his name higher in the CBR’s World Standings history, that statistic is surprising as CBR fans have witnessed JW winning not only the coveted George Paul Memorial Bull Riding, but in 2013 he won the first round of the CBR World Finals which allowed him a spin on the bounty bull. 

He thrilled the Cheyenne grand stands making the whistle and driving a brand new Mahindra Max Tractor out of the arena as payment during the CBR World Finals at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

After nine years of riding with CBR, the 5’10, 160 pound cowboy has racked up numerous Horizon Series wins, multiple second and third place finishes and the following event wins on the CBR ‘s The Road to Cheyenne Tour:


2013 Mahindra Max Tractor Bounty Bull Champion 

2011 CINCH CBR Tour Hobbs Champion

2011 CINCH CBR Tour Del Rio Champion

2010 CINCH CBR Tour Tulsa Champion

2009 Average Winner – CBR World Finals

2009 CBR Tour Fort Worth Champion


In 2009, Harris married his wife Jackie, Miss Rodeo Arkansas in 2004, and they have two children; daughter, Aubrey (born Nov. 30, 2010 in Las Vegas two days before the start of the Wrangler NFR); son, Dillon Cash (born Aug. 4, 2012).

Most bull riding fans don’t think of JW Harris who has earned almost two million dollars in the PRCA alone, as a rookie bull rider, just ask any of the bull riders sitting with him on the list of top 15 PRCA riders headed to Las Vegas for the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The May, Texas, bull rider is no stranger to Las Vegas after winning four PRCA championships during the National Finals Rodeo inside the Thomas & Mack Center. Harris will begin the WNFR in the number 6 slot after a disappointing free fall from the number 2 position when he did not meet the requirements of attending 40 rodeos and disqualifying him from using the monies earned at the Extreme bull riding competitions towards WNFR standings. 

Harris will enter the Thomas and Mack next month trying to win his fifth PRCA World Championship with a 55.9% career riding average and 54.2% average from the last 12 months. Even though he is going in at #6, the 4 time World Champion is probably a good bet in Las Vegas. 

Is Five of a Kind in the cards for Harris?

“There is something about this building that gets you going,” Harris said. “If you come out here and you don’t get pumped up you need to quit riding bulls.”


PRCA Career Earnings: $1,796,853.00

World Titles Won: 4 (2008-10, 2013) 

WNFR Qualifications: 9 (2006-14)

Wrangler NFR average titles: 2 (2008, 2010)


2014 Highlights

• Won the Rapid City (S.D.) Xtreme Bulls Tour event

• Won the Dodge City (Kan.) Roundup Rodeo

• Won the Lea County Fair & PRCA Rodeo (Lovington, N.M.)

• Won the Sikeston (Mo.) Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo

• Won the Jayhawker Roundup Rodeo (Hill City, Kan.)

• Won the Crossett (Ark.) Riding Club PRCA Rodeo

• Won the Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo (Vinita, Okla.)

• Co-champion at the Bull's Night Out Division 2 Qualifying Event Xtreme Bulls (Fort Worth, Texas) 

• Won the Riata Roundup Rodeo (Lometa, Texas) PRCA Career Earnings: $1,796,853.00


Editor’s Note: JW Harris became the second World Champion Bull Rider to wear a helmet, following BJ Schumacher (2006) after suffering from five concussions during the 2008 season.