Crawford helps Harrison to Guymon title

Kyle Irwin competes in steer wrestling on Saturday at the 85th Pioneer Days rodeo at Hitch Pioneer Arena. (Shawn Yorks/staff)
Special Report

Charly Crawford is playing the role of teacher in his team-roping partnership with Joseph Harrison.

That happens with someone like Crawford, an eight-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifying header, is matched with a heeler that hasn’t played on ProRodeo’s grandest stage.

“I believe it’s an awesome opportunity for me,” said Harrison of Overbrook, Okla. “He teaches me as we go along some of the things I don’t know.”

His lessons continued during the final performance of the 85th Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo on Sunday afternoon, where the tandem stopped the clock in 8.2 seconds; it was just enough to secure a share of the victory.

“I made a horse change,” said Crawford of Prineville, Ore. “I rode one of my wife’s horses in the first two (rounds). The steers were real fresh, and he’s real broke and real easy to ride. The steers usually get to running a little more in the third round, so I brought my good horse that can run pretty hard.

“I did an OK job of heading, and Joe did a really good job of heeling.”

Crawford and Harrison shared the victory with Brooks Dahozy and Tommy Zuniga. Both teams earned $2,934 after downing three steers in a cumulative time of 23.6 seconds. Crawford and Harrison each earned $3,389 in the Oklahoma Panhandle this week, adding a first-round paycheck to their total.

“I was a little later than I wanted to be,” Crawford said. “The steer started trotting, then took off. The main thing was to salvage a run and make them come beat us.”

When that didn’t happen, they earned the right to collect one of the trophy belts that are awarded to Pioneer Days Rodeo champions every year. This will be the second for Crawford, the first for Harrison.

“It’s awesome,” Harrison said. “I’ve been coming to this rodeo for a long time, and it’s in my circuit. I have the opportunity to rope with Charly this year, and I’m super excited about it.”

He should be. Not only will the money count toward the world standings, but it will go a long way in helping Harrison in the Prairie Circuit. He was not ranked heading into this weekend, but he leaves the Oklahoma Panhandle the No. 1 heeler in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region. More importantly, it helps give the cowboys a lot of confidence heading into the summer run of rodeos.

“This is a cool rodeo,” Crawford said. “We enjoy the long starts and the fresh steers. The committee does a great job.”

That’s why they’ll continue to return.