postheadericon Carr horses set to play a big role in NFR bareback riding

LAS VEGAS – The yellow chutes of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo have been the starting point for some of the greatest episodes of ProRodeo history.

It’s where the top bareback riders from this season stand during the fast-paced grand entry, and where they’ll try to tame the toughest bucking beasts in the sport for 10 straight nights from Dec. 2-11 at the Thomas & Mack Center. It’s where the horses from Carr Pro Rodeo will shine.

“If you look at the NFR stock roster, you can see Pete Carr’s loaded,” finalist D.V. Fennell said of the Carr Pro Rodeo owner. “That’s not just me saying that. That’s 16 of the top bareback riders in the world. He’s got superstars.”

Carr has had them since he became a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in 2005, when a brown gelding named Real Deal was crowned the Bareback of the Year. Riverboat Annie, a red roan mare, finished second place in the same voting two years later.

“To be successful, you’ve got to want to win,” said Justin McDaniel, the 2008 bareback riding world champion. “Pete goes all out. He tries really hard. You can go to any of Pete’s rodeos and win on any of his horses on any given day.

“This year, that Real Deal was the rankest horse I’ve seen in a long time.”

Riverboat Annie isn’t as difficult to ride, but she definitely has a reputation.

“She’s the best mare I’ve ever owned so far,” Carr said. “She never had a bad day in her life and has won several buckles at the NFR. Now she is raising colts.”

Real Deal and Riverboat Annie again will be part of the mix at this year’s championship, joined by other Carr stalwarts Outa Sight, Grass Dancer, Dirty Jacket, Big Lights and Deuces Night.

“Pete’s always trying to improve his herd and always looking for ways to get new animals in there,” said Ryan Gray, the top-ranked bareback rider in the standings. “He’s always looking for better horses to fit his pen. He strives for constant improvement, and he has a constant drive to be successful.

“For Pete, it’s a want-to to get better all the time. That’s what we like to see in contractors, and there are not that many out there that can say that. A lot of guys respect him for trying hard and trying to have a great pen of bucking horses.”

All but Outa Sight and Deuces Night have been to the finals before, but the top bareback riders selected them because of their performances throughout the season. They’re both 5-year-old paint mares sired by the great Night Jacket, a paint stallion that has been selected to buck at the NFR 11 times; he was purchased last year for a record price of $200,000.

“That Deuces Night is one outstanding bucking horse, the kind that will be the bareback horse of the finals, I think,” said Fennell of Neosho, Mo., a two-time qualifier to the NFR. “Chris Harris won Pecos (Texas) on that horse this year, and it’s definitely a bucker.”

Both young horses drew the attention of Pete Carr, who purchased Outa Sight as a 2-year-old after seeing her buck with an electric dummy; he purchased Deuces Night earlier this year.

“She keeps getting better every time she gets the opportunity to perform,” he said.

As for Deuces Night, he said, “This is a very special mare that bucks the right way. You can tell she loves her job.”

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