Archive for June, 2011

postheadericon Stevenson has a Close Call in winning Big Spring rodeo

BIG SPRING, Texas – Even rodeo cowboys need to celebrate.

Bareback rider Wes Stevenson did that from June 16-18 when he won the title at the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo with an 86-point ride on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Close Call, collecting the $1,102 that came with the victory.

Wes Stevenson

Wes Stevenson

“The crowd that was there that night seemed to be more family-oriented,” said Stevenson of Lubbock, Texas. “It made for more fun since the guys and I all had our families with us.”

Stevenson and two members of his traveling posse – three-time world champion Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas, and four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Tom McFarland of Sunset, Texas – finished atop the leaderboard in Big Spring. McFarland finished second with an 85 on Carr’s Back Road, while Lowe’s 83 on Carr’s Scruffy was third.

Pete Carr, owner of the livestock company, has provided the great animal athletes to the Big Spring Reunion and Rodeo for several years, and Carr Pro Rodeo is developing quite a reputation as one of the best stock contractors in ProRodeo.

“The only thing I knew about that horse was that it had a brand on it, No. 95, and that was about it,” Stevenson said. “Pete told me a little bit about the horse, but I didn’t know anything else.”

What happened when the chute gate opened is best described as electric.

“I knew that horse would be wild and close to the chutes, and that’s what I told Wes,” Carr said. “You always like it when the best guys in the world get on your horses, because they really can make it that much better.”

That worked fine for Stevenson, a six-time qualifier to the NFR, the annual grand championship in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

I probably ride better if I don’t try to set a trap or try to have a game plan of what I think I want to do,” he said. “I do my best and let God take care of the best.”

Stevenson is one of eight contestants crowned champions in Big Spring, including bull rider Casey Huckabee, who rode Carr’s Synergy for 86 points; saddle bronc rider Sam Spreadborough, who was 86 points on Carr’s Blue Spy; steer wrestler David Sab, 5.2 seconds; team ropers Goose and Jesse Guzman, 24.7 seconds on two runs; tie-down roper Ryan Watkins, 8.6 seconds; and barrel racer Cassie Moseley, 16.64 seconds.

“The most important thing to me was that I got to get on some good bucking horses,” Stevenson said. “It is close to home, so I’m not wearing myself on the road. The $1,000 I won there is the confidence-booster I need to go out and win $10,000. I knew we had a chance to get on some of Pete’s good bucking horses, and that helps me a lot down the road.”

Big Spring Cowboy Reunion & Rodeo
Big Spring, Texas, June 16-18
All-around cowboy: Monty Eakin, $747, steer wrestling and tie-down roping.
Bareback riding: 1. Wes Stevenson, 86 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Close Call, $1,102; 2. Tom McFarland, 85 on Carr’s Back Road, $827; 3. Will Lowe, 83 on Carr’s Scruffy, $551; 4. Matt Bright, 82 on Carr’s Power Ade, $276.
Steer wrestling: 1. David Sab, 5.2 seconds, $902; 2. Monty Eakin, 5.3, $747; 3. Clayton Tuchscherer, 5.6, $591; 4. Brent Lassetter, 6.6, $436; 5. Jack Hodges, 6.7, $280; 6. Chance Campbell, 7.0, $156.
Team roping: First round: 1. Goose Guzman/Jesse Guzman, 15.0 seconds, $282 each; no other qualified runs; Second round: Goose Guzman/Jesse Guzman, 9.7 seconds, $282 each; no other qualified runs; Average: Goose Guzman/Jesse Guzman, 24.7 seconds on two head, $423 each.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Sam Spreadborough, 86 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Blue Spy, $1,159; 2. Casey Sisk, 83 on Carr’s Smoke Wagon, $869; 3. (tie) Weston Ireland on Carr’s Corner Guard, Travis Edwards on Carr’s Smoke Wagon and Seth Schafer on Carr’s Paper Doll, 82, $290 each.
Tie-down roping: 1. Ryan Watkins, 8.6 seconds, $1,192; 2. Cody Owens, 8.9, $986; 3. (tie) Matt Kenney and Juan Flores Jr., 10.0, $678 each; 5. (tie) Will Kiker and Garrett Hale, 10.5, $288 each.
Barrel racing: 1. Cassie Moseley, 16.64 seconds, $1,021; 2. Shelley Morgan, 16.78, $876; 3. Kassidy Dennison, 16.95, $730; 4. Layna Kight, 16.99, $632; 5. Callie Chamberlain, 17.04, $486; 6. (tie) Debbie Bloxom and Morgann McDonald, 17.05, $340 each; 8. Margaret Stephenson, 17.10, $195; 9. Lisa Fernandes, 17.12, $146; 10. Jessi Eagleberger, 17.14, $97.
Bull riding: 1. Casey Huckabee, 86 points on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Synergy, $1,140; 2. Trevor Kastner, 82 on Carr’s Copper Thief, $855; 3. Camo Mullins, 80 on Carr’s Mingus Nights, $570; 4. (tie) A.L. Ambrose on Carr’s M.J. and Dakota Rasberry on Carr’s Lights Out, 77, $143 each.
Total payoff: $26,497. Stock contractor: Carr Pro Rodeo. Rodeo secretary: Delia Walls. Officials: DeWitt Forrest and Travis Howe. Timers: Denise Adams and Sandy Gwatney. Announcer: Mike Mathis. Specialty act: Keith Isley and Blake Goode. Bullfighters: Scotty Spencer and Chris Kirby. Clown/barrelman: Keith Isley. Flankman: Pete Carr. Chute bosses: Pete Carr and John Gwatney. Pickup men: Paul Peterson and Guy Allen.

postheadericon Lasting friendships

I’m blessed. That’s the reality.

Not many people get to do what they love, and I lived that life for a long time. But that’s not the case now. I’m chasing my gold buckle dreams, just like the contestants about whom I write.

A few days ago I got to visit with a couple of good friends, D.V. Fennell and Justin McDaniel, two of the best bareback riders going down the road these days. I’m blessed to have worked with them closely over the past couple of years, and I’m more blessed to have seen their tremendous athletic feats in action.

Better yet, I’m blessed to call them friends, and I hope we’re all in Vegas celebrating more great things when the 2010 ProRodeo season concludes. They deserve it.

postheadericon Coverage from Big Spring, Texas

I believe firmly in the impact of strong media relations; I’d better, huh. But in an effort to promote rodeo as well as I can, I want to entice great coverage. I hope the pieces that are in this PDF file did just that in Big Spring, Texas, last weekend.


postheadericon Everyone is having a good time

I just finished the first night in Carthage, Mo., and I think the rodeo went quite well.

The crowd was the best and most responsive I’ve had in awhile. The people came out to get away from their day-to-day and just enjoy themselves.

I’m pretty sure the old cliché works very well: A good time was had by all.

postheadericon Carr’s Deuces Night returning to scene of glory in Pecos

Bareback rider Jason Havens of Prineville, Ore., rides Carr Pro Rodeo's Deuces Night for 86 points, good enough for a tie for second place during the fifth go-round of the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyo., rode the 6-year-old gelding for 88.5 points to win the 10th round of the NFR. Deuces Night had her coming-out party last June by leading Chris Harris of Itasca, Texas, to the West of the Pecos Rodeo title.  (TED HARBIN PHOTO)

Bareback rider Jason Havens of Prineville, Ore., rides Carr Pro Rodeo's Deuces Night for 86 points, good enough for a tie for second place during the fifth go-round of the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyo., rode the 6-year-old gelding for 88.5 points to win the 10th round of the NFR. Deuces Night had her coming-out party last June by leading Chris Harris of Itasca, Texas, to the West of the Pecos Rodeo title. (TED HARBIN PHOTO)

PECOS, Texas – If a bucking horse can announce its presence with authority, Deuces Night did it last June at the West of the Pecos Rodeo.

The 6-year-old bay/paint mare out of Night Line by Night Jacket bucked snappily across the Buck Jackson Arena dirt, guiding Texan Chris Harris to an 88-point, rodeo-winning ride. That’s when the Carr Pro Rodeo bucking beast became the talk among cowboys who ride bareback horses for a living.

Chris Harris

Chris Harris

“When you get on a good horse and make a good ride, it dang sure feels good,” said Harris, a six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Itasca, Texas. “She’s just a good horse, and I was glad to win that rodeo. I had not won it before. I’d placed there a couple times, but it was a good victory. It’s the oldest rodeo in the United States of America, so it’s quite an honor.”

Harris will be looking to defend its title during the four performances of the 129th edition of the West o the Pecos Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 22-Saturday, June 25. He knows the opportunities will be there again this year, thanks in large part to the great animal athletes that come from Carr Pro Rodeo, the livestock firm that produces the annual rodeo.

“It takes somebody who knows the game and understands it, and that’s what you’ve got in Pete Carr,” Harris said of the company’s owner. “It takes passion to put that back into the animals, to take care of them, to feed them the right grain, the right nutrients.

“That guy got his hands on Riverboat Annie, and that horse, to me, is still one of the greatest horses to get on. That takes heart, passion and try.”

Riverboat Annie has been one of the top horses in bareback riding for several years, and in 2007 was crowned the reserve world champion bareback horse. She followed in the footsteps of another Carr horse, Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Riding Horse of the Year.

Deuces Night is well on the way to receiving a similar honor. She bucked at the NFR for the first time last December and carried Kelly Timberman to the 10th-round victory with an 88.5-point ride. This past April, she and Kaycee Feild posted a round-tying 90-point score in the final go-round at the Dodge National Circuit Finals.

“This is a very special mare that bucks the right way,” Carr said. “You can tell she loves her job. We look for big things from her in the near future.”

The horse was raised by bareback rider Wes Stevenson, who took advantage of the animal’s great pedigree – her sire, Night Jacket, is one of the most celebrated stallions in the bucking horse business today and was purchased two seasons ago for $200,000. Stevenson sold Deuces Night to Carr last year.

“She’s been on of the best in the business all year,” said Stevenson, a six-time NFR qualifier. “I knew she’d have a really good shot to come to the finals. I knew she was that good, so part of the reason I sold her to Pete is that I knew she’d have a good shot to go to the finals. I bought her from Jim Zinser as a brood mare, but she bucked so good, I didn’t want to waste her sitting at my house. I wanted her to have a chance.

“She has a lot of heart. I was the first one to get on her with a rigging, and from the first time we ever bucked her, I knew that little filly has a lot of heart. She’s a very electric horse. She’s going to start doing some stuff right out of the box.”

She’s done pretty well, and the cowboys love the opportunity to ride her.

“Wes is a guru when it comes to genetics,” Harris said. “My hat’s off to Wes. He picked the right stock contractor to sell that horse to, one that’s going to do the right things with her and take care of her.

“I raise bucking horses, too, and the reality is, it doesn’t matter who raises them. It’s about who’s hauling them, who’s feeding them, who’s caring for them, and in this case, it’s the Carr family. Those guys take care of their horses, and they take care of them the right way.”

postheadericon Tradition-rich Pecos ready for ProRodeo’s best

PECOS, Texas – When it comes to rodeo, folks in Far West Texas know their stuff.

A good portion of residents have done it in some regard, whether in the arenas across the landscape or across the dusty pastures of the Rolling Plains. They’ve definitely been around it, and they’re the biggest supporters of the sport that features great cowboys and cowgirls and the outstanding animal athletes.

“We have a lot of old rodeo fans that don’t cut me a bit of slack,” said Joe Keese, president of the committee that organizes the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 22-Saturday, June 25, at Buck Jackson Arena. “Two years ago, after the 2009 rodeo, I had a lot of people tell me that it was one of the best rodeos they’d ever watched, start to finish. Last year, I had even more people tell me that.

“That’s a true testament to the great livestock Pete Carr brings to our rodeo every year and the kind of production Carr Pro Rodeo puts on. Last year, I had two people, two legitimate critics, who told me they didn’t think we could top the year before, but we did.”

That’s saying something about Pecos, home of the World’s First Rodeo, which will celebrate its 129th year this June.

“We’re tickled to have rodeos that have that much history in the sport,” said Carr, the owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm.

The West of the Pecos Rodeo is still making history, whether it’s having Boyd Polhamus – the voice of ProRodeo – announcing the action or the best soundman in the business, Benje Bendele, adding a delicate touch to the proceedings or having the event produced by the staff of Carr Pro Rodeo, one of the fastest-growing stock contractors in the game.

“One of the things Pete has helped us with tremendously is because he’s got such a good livestock lineup, he’s got the quality of animals that brings the top cowboys,” Keese said. “The good news for the fans that follow the sport of rodeo is that no matter what night they come to our rodeo, they’ll get to see their favorite guys go.”

Keese isn’t just hearing good things from fans; many of the biggest names in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association are talking about why they want to be in Pecos, too.

“When I’m on the road, I know I’m going to Pete Carr’s rodeos,” said Chris Harris, a six-time bareback riding qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from Itasca, Texas. “It’s easy to ride good when you’re on something that bucks. When you enter a Pete Carr rodeo, you’re going to get on something that bucks, and you’re going to have a shot at winning every time.”

The Pecos rodeo provides many outstanding features, from a large arena that will test the greatest timed-event cowboys in the game to a 12 foot-by-17 foot video board to help fans enjoy the experience on site. Tim Lepard with Wild Thang Productions will be the barrelman/funnyman and provide fantastic acts, like having capuchin monkeys riding border collies that round up sheep.

“For the cowboys, we have a really long timed-event box and a 20-plus-foot score line,” Keese said. “When you have a huge arena and a long box like that, as I’ve been told by many guys, you’ve got to know what you’re doing. If you’re not well-mounted and not good at what you do, you’re not going to win in Pecos.

“We’re going to have great timed-event cattle, too. Pete spends the money to bring in a good string of steers and a good string of calves.”

As the rodeo evolves, the organizers realize it must reach into its past – that’s just one of the benefits of having the oldest rodeo in the United States.

“An awful lot of the cowboys filled their permits in Pecos,” Keese said, referring to the development stage of ProRodeo whereby permit-holders must earn a minimum amount of money through competition to be eligible to become members of the PRCA. “A lot come back here every year because they came with their granddad, then their dad, and they want to keep that going.

“With this arena and our set up, it’s a test of the cowboy’s skills, and it’s tradition. People want that Pecos buckle.”

postheadericon Making the most of a missed opportunity

JMac (2008 world champion bareback rider Justin McDaniel) and I missed out flight to Sisters (Ore.) and had to turn out the best horses in the bunch, the ones that could’ve won it for us.

We went up to Tulsa the night before, and we were staying right there by the airport. We woke up and were waiting on the shuttle, and the shuttle driver was late. Then when we get to the ticket counter, we stood in line for 20 minutes. Then the security level was red that day, so I just get in line and wait.

By the time I get through, I run through to my gate, and they said the pilot had shut the doors and wasn’t letting anyone on. My bags went to Houston before they got them back to me.

So we went to the track with our sponsor, Jack Hodge from James Hodge Ford. We were down there standing on pit road (at Tulsa Raceway Park). It was pretty cool, ol’ JMac sporting his State Farm hat for my buddy, Eric Norris, who’s been helping me out for a couple years now.

We hung out at Weatherford (Texas) with a bunch of old college buddies of mine, then at Bradley Harter’s. We’re headin’ to the rodeo in Big Spring (Texas) to get on some of Pete Carr’s buckin’ horses, then tonight we’ve got an 18-hour jaunt to Bellevue, Iowa. We’re just livin’ a dream.

postheadericon McCoy looking forward to supporting Atlantic’s Relay for Life

ATLANTIC, Iowa – Whether he was racing around the world as a reality TV star or chasing elusive world championships, Cord McCoy has always reached out to others.

Cord McCoy

Cord McCoy

Things won’t be any different when he returns to southwest Iowa for the second annual Cord McCoy PBR Challenge, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, at the Cass County Fairgrounds. In fact, the Professional Bull Riders athlete will take time away from his preparation in order to show his appear at the Atlantic Relay for Life, set for 6-10:30 p.m. that evening at the Atlantic High School Track.

“I just want to be there to show my support for all those people who are raising money for the American Cancer Society,” said McCoy, who starred two seasons on the CBS-TV reality series “The Amazing Race” with his brother, Jet. “Relay for Life is an awesome event, and it helps in the fight against cancer.”

This isn’t the first time McCoy has been involved in raising money for such a worthy cause. In fact, he’s had a giving nature almost all of his life.

“Last year during my bull riding in Ada (Okla.), we had the Pink Tie Affair, and with that we raised money for the Relay for Life there,” McCoy said. “When you realize you’re fighting cancer, you know that it’s going to take a lot. We know it’s going to take a lot of people to beat the race against cancer.”

McCoy has a number of ties to southwest Iowa. His father, Denny, was raised around Villisca, and last November, he married the former Sara Best of Brayton. It’s quite easy for the McCoys to find their way back to this area from their home near Tupelo, Okla.

“This is an awesome place to be, and I’ve got a lot of family around here,” said McCoy, one of the fan favorites in the PBR. “We’re busy traveling and all the other things that go into what I do for a living, but I always like coming back here.

“This is a lot like home to me, and it feels like home to me.”

With that, he wants to continue giving to a worthwhile cause, and helping the fight against such a deadly disease through the American Cancer Society is as worthwhile as they come.

“I’ve been blessed to make a living doing something I really love, whether it’s on the ranch in little ol’ Tupelo, Oklahoma, or riding bulls all over the world,” McCoy said. “I want to try to figure out a way to where people coming to the bull riding will have the opportunity to donate to Relay for Life.

“It’s a big enough deal to me that I want it to be a big deal to the bull riding fans, too.”

postheadericon Bronc riders itching to get on Carr horses in Pecos

PECOS, Texas – The West of the Pecos Rodeo wasn’t the first event saddle bronc rider Jace Garrett has won in his three-year ProRodeo career.

It wasn’t even his first victory of the 2010 season; the Alliance, Neb., cowboy had a couple of key victories under his belt before he arrived in west Texas last June, but his win in Pecos might’ve been one of the most important rides of the season for Garrett, who finished 20th in the world standings.

Jace Garrett

Jace Garrett

“It was a real confidence-booster for sure,” said Garrett, who won the National High School Finals Rodeo championship in 2005. “Pecos has been a pretty good rodeo, and I’d done well there before, but last year was definitely a confidence-booster for me and the way my season went.

“It was the first PRCA buckle I’ve won, so that was pretty cool.”

Garrett rode the Carr Pro Rodeo bronc True Lies for 88 points to win the 2010 title, and he will try to defend his title during one of the four performances of this year’s rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 22-Saturday, June 25.

“That’s a sweet horse,” Garrett said of True Lies, which was selected by the top bronc riders to buck at the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “He’s a little bay horse that just bucks. He’s really nice and fun, real electric feeling. Everybody that gets on him loves him.”

That’s saying something for the 9-year-old gelding, which was purchased 17 months ago by Pete Carr, the owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm. Now that True Lies is getting settled in at the Carr’s ranch in Athens, Texas, everyone in rodeo is expecting something special out of that horse and the many other great broncs wearing the Rafter C brand.

“I bought that horse last January, and I’ve been pretty impressed with what I’ve seen,” Carr said.

So have the contestants who travel the country testing their skills against the greatest horses in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. There are many reasons they flock to rodeos where Carr Pro Rodeo animals are bucking.

“I’ll take any of them, I promise,” said Cort Scheer, the sixth-ranked bronc rider this season who just completed his first venture to the NFR in Las Vegas. “If you draw any of them horses, you’ve got a chance to win. Look at the pedigree behind them, the money that’s won on all of them.

“Typically you go to places, and there will one or two horses you can win on, but that’s not the case at any of Pete Carr’s rodeos. It comes down to who makes the best spur ride is going to win. That’s what you want every time.”

The bronc riders are expecting great things, but that’s what they’ve come to expect for the Texas-based livestock provider.

“You can go down the list of any horse Pete has, and you’re going to look at the kinds of horses you want to get on every time,” said Taos Muncy, the 2007 world champion who is fifth in the world standings this season. “You look forward to going to his rodeos, because he will have NFR horses in every performance.”

That thought process seems to be a developing theme among the greatest cowboys in the game.

“I really like going to Pete’s rodeos,” Garrett said. “I usually get on something good, which is what you want at every rodeo you go to.”

postheadericon Handling media responsibilities

ProRodeo Live’s Steve Kenyon is also a ProRodeo announcer, and he works several events each year in that capacity.

Jerry Norton does a phone interview from a comfy spot at a friend's house.

Jerry Norton does a phone interview from a comfy spot at a friend's house.

One we’ll be working together is the Crystal Springs Ranch Rodeo in Clear Lake, S.D., an event I’ve been going to for much of my bullfighting career. He called Wednesday morning to do an interview, so I found a comfortable place to lounge and view the scenery at a friend’s house.

My friend, as you can tell, has some young children, so this toddler’s chair worked great. I was just the right height to watch the kids playing in the front yard. And the best part is I got to do all that while helping promote the sport I love.

I’ve been blessed to have a great career as a bullfighter, and I’ve met countless friends over all those years. I got to tell Steve all about it, too.

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