When Joseph Harrison told his boss—legendary AQHA trainer Bobby Lewis—that he wanted to take a chance in 2017 to make the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Lewis had one piece of advice.
“My boss wanted me to do it,” Harrison said. “He wanted me to know, when I’m old and grey, that I did it. He didn’t want me sitting around wishing I had.”
Harrison, who’d previously qualified for the Prairie Circuit Finals with Mike Bacon, was amateur rodeoing and jackpotting with a talented hand named Jackie Crawford—who happens to be married to eight-time WNFR header Charly Crawford.
“Jackie and I had talked at the amateur finals about me roping with Charly,” Harrison said. “She said she thought we oughta go. A week later, he called me and asked me what I was going to do, and I told him I’d just do that if it were all right with him.”
Crawford and Harrison have been consistent all season, with a big win at the St. Paul (Ore.) Rodeo. They roped two head in a time of 9.8 seconds, pocketing $4,999 each, including their arena-record-breaking run of 4.1-seconds to take first in the first round and an additional $3,333 each.
“That rodeo was great,” Harrison said. “Our first steer was awesome. Charly did a great job. He doesn’t get enough credit—I call him a ‘heeler helper’ because of his handles.”
Harrison rode his brown gelding Dual Chip, an 8-year-old by Dual Spark, who he’s been aboard most of the year.
Before the St. Paul buckle came around, Harrison wore his Bennington (Kan.) PRCA Rodeo buckle that he won heeling for 23-time All-Around World Champ Trevor Brazile.
Could there be a buckle that would ever replace this prestigious win?
“It would have to be pretty cool. Breaking the arena record at St. Paul the first time I ever got to go to it— that’s pretty awesome. So, unless it means more than that, I’ll probably just keep wearing it.”