J.W. Harris is riding bulls as if intent on winning a third consecutive Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championship.
Harris won the seventh go-round — his third straight victory — Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center with a score of 94.5 points on Frontier Rodeo’s Smoke Screen, only 1.5 points off the arena record. He is the only one among the 15 bull riding competitors who has six eight-second rides in the Finals.
"It’s the highest score I’ve had at the Finals and third highest I’ve ever been," said Harris, whose NFR total of $92,644 is second among the 119 competitors. "I’ve had a good Finals, but I just have to keep moving forward. I’ve come here to win the gold buckle. That’s what I’m after."
Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., won the steer wrestling go-round and took over first in the season standings.
Other winners in the seventh go-round were Bobby Mote (Culver, Ore.), bareback riding; Brady Tryan (Huntley, Mont.) and Jake Long (Coffeyville, Kan.), team roping; Heith DeMoss (Heflin, La.) and Cody DeMoss (Heflin, La.), tied in saddle bronc riding; Shane Hanchey (Sulphur, La.), calf roping; and Sherry Cervi (Marana, Calif.), barrel racing.
Cervi posted her second go-round victory at this year’s Finals, a day after becoming the first barrel racer to exceed $2 million in career earnings. The two-time world champion has won $58,750 in the Finals and $238,601 this season, about $67,000 ahead of second-place Lindsay Sears.
■ TOP GUN — Trevor Brazile clinched his eighth all-around world championship Friday and has his sights on the first Top Gun award, presented to the NFR contestant who wins the most money in the 10-day event. Brazile has won $97,964.
■ CORRECTION — The Great American Country network, which will begin carrying the NFR next year, is carried on upper-level channels of Cox Cable in Southern Nevada on Channel 374. Cox added the network about a month ago.
A story in Wednesday’s Review-Journal said Cox didn’t carry the network.2010 National Finals Rodeo — Day 7