A father and his young daughter walk through the door of Nashville Pawn, with the daughter leading the way. It’s a common scene played out every day in town, with the exception that the father happens to be Tyler Harr, professional bull rider.
It’s obvious just by watching the two together that Harr adores his daughter, Eva. In fact, no matter where he is in the world on the bullriding circuit, he makes sure he’s home every week to spend time with his little girl.
Harr is a member of the Professional Bull Riders, or PBR as it’s better known as. They bill themselves as “the toughest sport on dirt”, and their website, www.pbr.com, sums up the sport of bull riding in the following words: “The rules are simple. Place a wiry 150-pound cowboy on the back of a hulking, snorting temperamental 2,000 pound bull and see if he can ride the beast for an eternal eight seconds…with one hand strapped to the bull’s massive backside.”
Jammy Furr, owner of Nashville Pawn, sings Harr’s praises. “I’m proud to have a member (of the PBR), and a friend, in Nashville. To me, that’s like having an NFL star. I’m also proud of him for making it back here every Monday through Thursday, no matter where he’s at in the world, to have his little girl.”
When one talks to Tyler Harr, one discovers quickly that he is a very soft spoken individual, who isn’t one who wants to talk too much about himself. He’s genuinely humble and down to earth. Harr grew up on a farm in east central Arkansas, with a father who rode bulls. When asked how he got into riding bulls, Harr says “After seeing pictures of my father as a little kid, and watching the PBR, which was just getting started then in 1994, and was televised on TNN, we started watching it, and I became a fan and fell in love with the sport. Also, when you grow up on a farm, you’re always trying to find something to do that’s fun.” He first rode a bull when he was 7 years old.
In 2008, he turned professional. When he’s not traveling the world with the PBR, Harr has a local farrier business, which shoes horses in the area.
Over the course of his career with the PBR, Harr has ridden in 88 events, with a total of 177 times having ridden out of the chute on the back of a bull. As one should expect, riding a bucking bull can lead to injury, and Harr has had his share of them. “I’ve had a long list of injuries, he said. I’ve crushed the right side of my face, the orbital bone, I’ve broke my jaw, broke my collarbone, broken every rib, I’ve tore just about every ligament in both knees, tore all the ligaments in my ankle, fractured my ankle, to name a few. But, I’ve been pretty fortunate, actually.”
Harr gives a lot of credit to his personal trainers, Taylor and Tesha Short, who own Success Performance Training, to keep him in shape for his bull riding career, saying “They have done so much for me.” The Shorts have also trained fellow pro riders Reese Cates and Cody Nance, as well as professional track star Fred Rose.
Harr says that the biggest accomplishment of his career so far is having made it to the PBR championships twice. His highest ranking, so far, in his career has been #18 in the world. When asked how long he anticipates continuing his PBR career, he said “Until I can’t convince myself that it’s worth the effort to continue, that it’s not worth the pain to get back up on a bull. I don’t have a set timeline or age.”
Harr says there’s a lot of mental preparation that goes on prior to climbing on the back of a bull and riding out of the chute. To prepare himself for that 8 second ride, he says that he “watches motivational videos, distances himself from his social life a little bit, and then just mentally prepare myself for that to be the only thing that matters in the world. I just try to shut my mind off, other than trying to manipulate the bull, to get a good start out of the chute. You can’t think about what’s happening. When you leave that chute, everything happens so fast, if you think about what you’re going to do, you’re already behind.”
On the ‘About’ section of his official Facebook page, Harr says this about himself: “I am a pro bull rider, father, husband and adrenalin junkie. I live on the edge and like to push the limits as far as I can, maybe even toeing the line sometimes. I truly feel my family and I are on our way to number one. I believe there are two roads to the top. I am choosing hard work, integrity, and belief in our Lord. My family, agent, and I ride for the Lord. Jump aboard to join us for the ride to the top!” Watching him effortlessly fix his daughter’s ponytail, it’s incredibly easy to believe that to be true about him.
Furr added at the end of the conversation that he would welcome “any local merchants who want to help sponsor Tyler. The expenses of leaving every weekend, and coming home to his family and our community do add up. I will myself. If anyone would like to, they can contact me here at Nashville Pawn.”