Josh Harden of Big Valley, Alta., has had quite a year and once again he is vying for the coveted All Around*, a title he first won in 2015.
Josh is a bronc rider, and a good one. He’s also a steer wrestler, and a good one. This year he qualified for the CFR in the bronc riding; he won Taber, Coronation and split a bunch of other rodeos and came into the Finals with $11,505.72 in bronc riding earnings, and he also racked up almost $10,000 in bull dogging.
As you can tell just by looking at him he is not one to follow convention. He’s got a “Duck Dynasty” beard going on and somehow, it suits the rebel. You just know he goes for broke every time he nods his head at either end of the arena.
He also has a low threshold for boredom.
As a steer wrestler himself he knows what makes a good hazer, and it’s definitely not a job for just anyone. Turns out, the strapping athlete is hazing for four of the top steer wrestlers in Canada–Dusty Walker, Curtis Cassidy, Cody Cassidy and Brendan Laye.
“I’m getting on their hazing horses,” says Harden. “It’s just like another rodeo during the summer; it’s more comfortable for me going back and forth than standing around overthinking things.”
What has Harden so in demand? “I don’t know,” he says. “I guess just being able to read the plays.”
Harden travelled with Walker and both Cassidy’s down the rodeo trail last year. “I guess they’re comfortable with me,” he says. “I’ve hazed for these guys quite a bit.”
Harden missed his bronc out last night, and his philosophy is simple.
“Just leave ‘er in the past,” he says. “Can’t do nothing about ‘er; don’t sweat the little stuff. I’m just looking forward to the next five rounds and keeping the goal in mind.”
It`s all proof that Harden is a long ways away from being a one-trick pony.
*Note: In Canada, to win the All Around the contestant must compete at both ends of the arena; namely a timed event and a rough stock event.