Bobby Harris, of Gillette, Wyoming was the World Champion Team Roper (heeler) in 1991. On July 16, 2022, he added to those accolades when he was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame. The ceremonies were held at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Being inducted into the Hall of Fame was a humbling, honorable experience, Harris said. He was especially honored to be inducted with the outstanding class of men, women, and animals that were included this year. “It was a special, enjoyable experience,” he said. For himself, being a Hall of Fame member is not something he ever thought about. “You’re thinking about competition and trying to win a championship or whatever your goals are. The special thing about the Hall of Fame is it’s looked at after you’re done rodeoing. They look at your career and it means that they thought it was respectable and meant a lot to people. That’s the big thing about it, that’s what’s so nice about it,” Harris said in a PRCA interview. “It means so much to me because the PRCA has been my whole life since I was a little boy. I always wanted to be a cowboy.”
Bobby qualified for the National Finals rodeo 18 times, in 1981-82, 1984-95, 1997, 1999, 2002, and 2010. He won the world championship with header Tee Woolman, who is also a member of the Hall of Fame. Harris said he was the most successful roping with Woolman. They had good chemistry and got along well. They both were competitive in the single steer roping event, and Harris feels that was also a contributing factor to their success. Harris qualified for the NSRF in 1986-91, 1993, and 2006. He said winning the PRCA world championship with Woolman was a highlight of his career. Bobby was the first-ever world champion team roper from Wyoming. He also won the NFR average three times, twice with Tee in 1987 and 1990, and with J. D. Yates in 2002.
If Harris could do it all over again, he said he would “do it more, go to more rodeos.” But back then, he just did what he did, and thought he was doing everything right, the proper way. At the time, he conceded, he probably was.
Courtesy of Bobby Harris Facebook Page
The best horse of Bobby’s career was purchased from Craig Mader in 1984. Roany could handle any situation, and nothing phased him. Harris said the gelding just fit his style of roping. Roany was the horse that carried him to the 1991 championship. If he could give any advice to young, up-and-coming ropers it would be to get a college education. Then be prepared to get your butt kicked while you learn the ropes. Above all, have confidence in yourself.
Harris said he was very proud to represent Wyoming at the awards ceremony. He is proud of his heritage, and the community he was raised in. Harris is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe. The adage, “It takes an army…” is very true, he said.
Others who were inducted with Harris include Trevor Brazille, a 26-time world champion; Bobby Mote, World Champion Bareback Rider 2002, 2007, 2009-10; the late Jake Beutler, stock contractor; rodeo clown Rick Young; four-time PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year, Frontier Rodeo’s Medicine Woman; rodeo notable Mel Potter; World Champion Steer Wrestler Roy Duvall’s horse Whiskey; barrel racer Ardith Bruce, and WPRA notable Cindy Rosser. The rodeo committee from Nebraska’s Big Rodeo in Burwell was also honored. The Hall of Fame ceremonies took place the same weekend as the inaugural NFR Open, also held in Colorado Springs.
This rodeo pits the top two cowboys and cowgirls in each event from the 12 U. S. circuits and Canada. It is one of the biggest rodeos of the 2022 pro rodeo season with $1 million in payouts. Harris attended the event and believes this format is the new style of rodeo. Winners included: Ty Pope, bareback broncs; Kyle Irwin, steer wrestling; team ropers Blake Hirdes and Dalton Pearce, Kade Bruno, saddle broncs; Taylor Santos, tie-down roping; Martha Angelone, breakaway roping; Cheyenne Allan, barrel racing; and Braidy William Randolph, bull riding. The Mountain States circuit team finished in tenth place with $28, 531
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