Funeral set for bareback rider found after large structure fire - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Funeral set for bareback rider found after large structure fire in Bosque County

Fire at Salvage Carpet (Source: Samantha Mason/Facebook) Fire at Salvage Carpet (Source: Samantha Mason/Facebook)
(Source: Hill County Emergency Management) (Source: Hill County Emergency Management)
(Source: Hill County Emergency Management) (Source: Hill County Emergency Management)
Chris Harris (Source: Matt Cohen) Chris Harris (Source: Matt Cohen)
Chris Harris (Source: Matt Cohen) Chris Harris (Source: Matt Cohen)
BOSQUE COUNTY, TX (KXXV) -

The funeral arrangements have been set for bareback rider Christopher Harris Jr., whose body was found last week after a fire at the former Salvage Carpet building in Bosque County. 

Once the fire was contained and extinguished it was found that the remains of the 41-year-old were found inside the building. 

The body was taken to an American forensic in Mesquite for an autopsy.

According to the Bosque County Central Appraisal District, Harris was the owner of the property. 

Harris' funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on April 3 at the Cowboy Church of Ellis County in Waxahachie. 

Harris, who grew up in Mansfield, was bareback rider and a six-time WNFR qualifier.

His former rodeo coach at Hill College in Hillsboro Paul Brown remembers Harris as a dedicated bareback rider.

“It seemed like he had a wonderful bright future and worked hard at everything he did," Brown said.

Brown said Harris went to the college finals and rode professionally soon after.

"A lot of times, it takes a year or two to get there but Chris made it there quick," Brown said.

After winning championships, Harris returned to Hill College as a rodeo assistant coach, teaching riders competing at the college level.

He also coached Brown's son, Jake, who was 15 at the time. He is now a 28-year-old professional bareback rider who has been to nationals three times.

"I started getting on his horses every week. He encouraged me, he always had uplifting words to say and he made the bareback rider I am today. A lot of credit goes back to Chris," Jake said.

He also appreciates Harris shared his story about a past drug addiction as a way to encourage him to stay clean and keep on the right track.

“It just shows that there are going to be up and downs in the rodeo world and not to turn anything like that. And to find the positive in every bad situation," Jake said.

Brown who continues serving as the Hill rodeo coach and is now also the athletic director said he was devastated to hear about Harris' passing. 

“He wanted everybody to be the best," Brown said. "When I heard. I was just brokenhearted. Words can’t describe it.”

Jake was also saddened to lose one of his mentors.

“It hits home. It’s hard to see a friend go like that," Jake said.

Officials closed Highway 22 near FM 56 while they were working the fire. Hwy 22 was back open as of 5:47 p.m. Wednesday evening. 

Waco, Whitney, Clifton and Meridian fire departments along with Hill County and Bosque County officials were on the scene.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the incident is being investigated by the Texas State Fire Marshal's Office.

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.  

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