Silver Creek Man, Founder of ‘Lazy HK Rodeo,’ Remembered as ‘Legend’ in Rodeo


Harlan Knowles, of Silver Creek, who founded the Lazy HK Bar Rodeo Company and supplied rodeos across the nation with bucking bulls, died on Feb. 20 at the age of 87. 

Knowles will be remembered fondly by family and friends as a “legend” in rodeo, said grandson Beau Shelton. 

“Everybody’s been referring to him as a legend,” Shelton said. “I don’t know, I mean, he is. But it’s just kind of what our family’s done our whole lives, if you will. He’s done it since 1969.”

One of about a dozen stock contractors in the state, Shelton said, Knowles was in the company of businesses whose entire strategy revolved around breeding and selling show-business level professional bulls. Knowles bred his share of them, too, his grandson said, but his true passion was always teaching the people on the bulls.

On their property in Silver Creek, Knowles and 30-year partner Christine Redell ran the Lazy HK Bar rodeo, previously described as “a party with bull riding attached,” by timekeeper Brandy Jacobs. In their backyard, Knowles, Redell and family raised future generations of professional bull riders. Shelton said he “couldn’t even count” the number of riders who’d been through the family’s arena and went on to ride in the National Finals Rodeo or the Professional Bull Riders World Finals. 

“He really liked to have schools and practice deals where younger generations could come and learn,” Shelton said. “He really, really enjoyed helping and teaching.”

Harlan Knowles may have been a bit rough around the edges, said another one of his grandsons, KC Knowles, but, “the more he yelled at you, the more he loved you.” The two called one another every day for the last decade and would often talk for hours. 

Asked his favorite thing to do with his grandfather, KC Knowles said, “Sit in the barn and drink beer.”

Alongside partner Redell, Harlan Knowles is survived by two children Hoby Knowles and Tera Sjolander, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren between the ages of 5 and 14.

Shelton said with his grandmother, he and family intend to continue stock contracting and the backyard rodeos. The upcoming “Winter Series” rodeo show on March 18, Shelton said, should feature many characters from around the country coming back to pay respects to Harlan Knowles. 

Learn more about the company and its events on Facebook at The family has also started a GoFundMe to help cover funeral and ranch costs in the coming months. It can be found at