Archive for September, 2011

postheadericon Carr Pro Rodeo offering free bareback riding clinic

ATHENS, Texas – The development of young rodeo talent is vital to the future of the sport, and nobody realizes that more than Pete Carr.

The owner of Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo, he is well known for having some of the greatest bucking animals in ProRodeo. His passion for the sport goes many years; before Carr became a sought-after rodeo producer, he was a bareback rider traveling the country in hopes of manhandling bucking beasts.

His love for the sport is why he is organizing an invitation-only free bareback riding clinic that will take place Saturday on the Carr Pro Rodeo ranch in Athens.

“We do it every year,” said Carr, who operates the livestock firm with his wife, Sherrill. “It’s a good way for us to see some of our young horses buck, to develop them, and a way to help cultivate some young bareback riders.

“We’ve got some of the best guys to ever ride bareback horses who are going to be our instructors, Jeff Collins, Mark Gomes and Phil Smith, just to name a few.”

Smith is a two-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, while Collins (2000) and Gomes (1998) are world champions. That kind of expertise goes a long ways to building a solid foundation for some of the rising stars in the game.

“We have always done a free open bareback riding and bronc riding school, but this year we made it invitation only,” Carr said. “We really want to help the young guys that have the desire and have been on enough horses to help them with the minor things they need that will help them get to the next level.

“We called a lot of college coaches from around the country and told them to bring a couple of their up-and-coming stars that could benefit from it.”

It will be a busy weekend for the Carr crew, which on Friday will test out its youngest bucking horses by strapping a mechanical dummy to the animals and seeing how well tackle the athletic maneuvers it will take to be a great bucking horse.

“I think it’s important to develop these young stars, whether they’re cowboys or horses,” Carr said. “Nobody, no matter how athletic they are, can just go out and start riding bareback horses. They need to be trained the right way. That’s the same philosophy we have with our horses.”

postheadericon Finishing on a great note

Well, it’s put-up-or-shut-up time. We have two weeks left in the season, and I’m in an all-out dogfight. Competition is tight. There are a dozen or so of us fighting the bottom slots to go to the National Finals Rodeo. That’s what makes rodeo so great: You go all year, and it still comes down to the end.

The Pendleton (Ore.) Roundup is going on now, and several of those girls have posted good times. Congrats to Nicole Deason – she caught a ride with us earlier to Pretty Prairie, Kan. – who is leading after slack. We run at Abilene, Texas, on Wednesday; El Paso, Texas, in slack Thursday night; and Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday. Next week we traverse Texas: Tuesday we run in Pasadena (Houston), Wednesday in Texarkana, Thursday slack in Amarillo, Friday slack in New Braunfels, and, hopefully, Harrison, Ark., on Saturday, and Anadarko, Okla., on Sunday.

I started out the year about as bad as you could, winning only $600 before April. To average things out, I plan on finishing as strongly as I started out poorly. (Does that make sense?) Anyway, Amigo is running well, and I am trusting God that I ride him well enough to win. I promise you there is no quit in me; I won’t go down without a fight! Thanks to all of you who support me, cheer for me and pray for me. You really don’t know how much that means to me. See you down the road.

postheadericon A bronc riding question

My friend, Mike S., can answer if he likes, but he’s got an unfair advantage and knows it. I think Paul P. might, too. The reality is, this might be too easy, but I hope everyone guesses. Also, I hope everyone has fun in doing so.

Which of the famed Etbauer brothers won the family’s first world title?

postheadericon MGM Deuces Night making an impact on ProRodeo

MGM Deuces Night is a 6-year-old mare that was bred to be a bucking machine.

She’s doing her job.

MGM Deuces Night prepares to go to work at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington, N.M., on Aug. 12.

MGM Deuces Night prepares to go to work at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington, N.M., on Aug. 12.

The bay horse owned by Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo is just in her second year in the world of ProRodeo, but she’s already one of the elite horses in the business. That says a lot considering the great animal athletes that are part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association year in and year out.

But if you ask the top bareback riders in the game, they’ll tell what makes her Deuces Night so special.

“That’s a mare is just an awesome horse that’s good in the chute that gives you a chance to win every time you nod your head,” said Kelly Timberman, the 2004 world champion bareback rider from Mills, Wyo., who won the 10th round of the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with an 88.5-point ride on Deuces Night. “I don’t care if the horse is dirty rank or hard to ride, I just want one to give me a chance to win first. That horse gives a guy a chance to win first every time, but you can say that about a lot of Pete’s horses.”

Pete Carr owns Carr Pro Rodeo, and he purchased Deuces Night last year from bareback rider Wes Stevenson, a six-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo who purchased Deuces Night from the great Zinser bucking string.

“I knew she’d have a really good shot to come to the finals,” Stevenson said. “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.”

Chris Harris saw that at one of the first big rodeos in which bucked. Harris, a six-time NFR qualifier, rode Deuces Night for 88 points to win the 2010 West of the Pecos Rodeo in Pecos, Texas. Fast forward just one year when karma came into play. Harris, from Itasca, Texas, was matched with Deuces Night for the second straight year. The tandem worked just as well together, for 87 points, making another Pecos victory for Harris.

And for Deuces Night.

“That Deuces Night is one outstanding bucking horse, the kind that will be the bareback horse of the finals, I think,” said D.V. Fennell of Porum, Okla., a two-time qualifier to the NFR.

This past April, Kaycee Feild and Deuces Night matched moves for 90 points during the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. It earned the Elk Ridge, Utah, cowboy a share of the final-round win with four-time world champion Bobby Mote, who rode the 2010 bareback horse of the year Big Tex.

“I wasn’t quite sure if it was going to be enough points to help me win that round, because it’s a younger horse,” Feild said. “Then he left there that first jump, then the second, and I knew I had a chance to show my ability to my full ability. He slipped a little, but he got right back up and started right back where he left off.

“He was just outstanding.”

Feild has been around the game a long time. His father, Lewis Feild, owns five world titles, two for bareback riding and three in the all-around. In addition, Kaycee Feild is on his way to his fourth straight qualification to the Wrangler NFR.

“Horses like that have a bucking style … it’s not easy in any means, but if you do stub your toe, you’re going to get bucked off,” Kaycee Feild said. “But those horses are the ones where you can really show your ability to ride. They hang in the air, and they’re really electric.”

Three-time world champion Will Lowe knows that as well as anyone.

“When you go to a Pete Carr rodeo, you know you’re going to get on something that bucks,” said Lowe of Canyon, Texas. “Pete has quite a few really good horses.”

Is Deuces Night one of the best in a string that includes Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Horse of the Year, and Riverboat Annie, the 2007 Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse?

“That’s a pretty awesome horse,” Lowe said of Deuces Night. “It’s got those Zinser blood lines, and they’ve really showed how good they are the last couple years. There’s been quite a few that jumped out that and have been really fantastic.

“When you have that mare, you always got a dang good shot of being 86, 87-plus, and you’ve got a dang good chance of winning. I’ll tell you this: I like her a lot more if her name was next to my name a little more.”

Lowe is describing the random draw that pits cowboy vs. animal in rodeo, which pitted Lowe against the young horse in Eagle, Colo., this past July. Lowe finished second in the rodeo with a quality 87-point ride.

“Deuces Night is a great horse, and she’s one I think will be one for a long time,” Timberman said. “She’s a horse that’s consistent, and she’s a horse that’s part of an elite pen. That’s a pretty strong statement.”

Carr realizes that, and he sees something he really likes in the young horse.

“This is a very special mare that bucks the right way,” Carr said. “You can tell she loves her job.”

postheadericon Ah … technology

It’s opening day in the NFL, and I’ll be in my seat at Arrowhead Stadium by today’s noon kickoff.

But I won’t be that far away from the rodeo world. Having a smart phone allows me to keep up with the goings-on in the rodeo world. And, trust me, I will.

 

postheadericon Waller County Fair and Rodeo giving back to contestants

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – The Waller County Fair and Rodeo in Hempstead, Texas, is taking its respected rodeo to the professional ranks. This year’s event, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30-Saturday, Oct. 1, is our inaugural year in the PRCA, and we’re coming into the highest level of the sport with a bang.

Better yet, we’re giving back to the contestants: 1) Buckles made by Montana Silversmiths will be presented to event champions; 2) The fair’s theme is “Riding for the Ribbon,” and all cowboys who take part in our Tough Enough to Wear Pink celebration on Saturday night will be eligible for a free gas card, given to the contestant with the best time or score on that night; 3) we are putting in $3,000 in added money for each event, one of the biggest purses in our area. Our stock contractor is Carr Pro Rodeo.

We’re putting on an event for cowboys, and we want this to be the best rodeo ever in Waller County, maybe in all of southeast Texas.

postheadericon Getting ready for Omaha

I’m in the middle of preparations for a special section that will wrap around the Omaha World-Herald’s sports section right before the Sept. 22-24 River City Rodeo. It’s a great opportunity for me to work a ProRodeo championship.

I hope I can show the folks in Omaha just how special their hometown rodeo is each September.

postheadericon And the race is on

We’re down to the final month of the 2011 ProRodeo campaign, and contestants within reach will be doing everything they can to finish the regular season among the top 15 in the world standings.

The first big push for those in the top 24 in the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour standings comes this weekend in Puyallup, Wash., home of the Justin Boots Playoffs — the top 12 on the tour’s money list after that event will earn the right to play at the Justin Boots Championships, set for Sept. 22-24, at the River City Rodeo in Omaha, Neb. But plenty of others will be chasing the dollars at other great locals, like Pendleton, Ore.; Lewiston, Idaho; and Fort Madison, Iowa, just to name a few.

No matter what happens, it’s going to be a great race.

postheadericon Down time? Not exactly

I worked the bull riding for the McCrossan Boys Ranch just outside of Sioux Falls, S.D., on Aug. 27 and was looking forward to having some time at home for a couple of weeks before I hit the road again.

It’s nice to be home and be able to get some things done that have been staring at my mind’s eye all spring and summer – I’ve just never had enough time to do it all.

All work and no play? NOT. Having not been around these parts most of the summer, I figured I’d run up to the South Dakota State Fair and take in the CBR bull riding last Thursday evening. After making sure the kids got to their respective soccer practices, I headed to Huron to see some ol’ friends and maybe even do some networking. I got to see and visit with my ol’ friends like Dustin Evans, Roach Hedeman, Cody Sosebee, Matt Zens, others, and met new ones.

They had two bullfighters Thursday because one of the three had gotten hurt the night before and couldn’t return for the Thursday performance.

The bull riding started, and I was hanging out by my friend, Matt Zens, who was there providing medical support to the contestants and personnel. On the first bull out, the rider hung up, the bull falls and gets back up with the rider still hung up. Bullfighter Matt Baldwin took a good shot while tending to the wreck.

I winced as I watched the bull hooked him right to the belly/ribs and lifted him into the air a few feet. I was thinking he’d be lucky if the bull didn’t get up under his rib-pads. He was doubled over for a bit, collecting himself as Matt Zens and the doctor on duty checked on with him.

Come to find out, the bull didn’t have to get under Matt Baldwin’s pads because he chooses not to wear rib-pads for some reason.

Somebody from the CBR came up and asked if I had my “stuff” with me. I laughed and told him no. He said to go get it on and walked off. A minute later, he come back over by the fence and told me where I could find some gear and a jersey. A quick change of clothes, and I was in the arena. It had only been three or four weeks since I last fought bulls in Dodge City when my groin gave me troubles, but that didn’t bother at all. I felt pretty at home and had fun.

It’s still kind of amazing to me: Here I was just seeing some ol’ friends, do a little networking and hang out. I got to do all that, then got to do what I really enjoy and even took home a check. My lucky day! Thank you, Jesus.

On the drive home, I reveled in the feeling of being blessed with the skills to do what I do and able to step in at a mere moment’s notice, wherever and at whatever level. On top of that, I needed the hour’s drive to figure a fun way to tell April about bringing home the unexpected income.

I am blessed more than I deserve. Thank you, Lord!

postheadericon Results? Anyone have results?

The Ellensburg (Wash.) Rodeo wraps up the 2011 Wrangler Million Dollar Tour today, but other than a few Facebook posts from the PRCA, there hasn’t been much word about it.

After the earnings are tallied, we will know the 24 qualifiers to the Justin Boots Playoffs in Puyallup, Wash. But for those of us who want to keep up with the happenings in the Northwest, we’ve not been able to do so.

Mike Donnell, a dear friend of mine who promotes rodeo and represents contestants, has visited with me about ways to get results available to the public in a timely fashion, especially at events like Ellensburg. It really comes down to the producers to release up-to-date results.

The PRCA has done a great job of getting results posted on ProRodeo.com as quickly as it can. Media department employees bust their tails in order to do so, but the results from Ellensburg just aren’t available. I’ve gone to the rodeo’s website, and the only results I’ve found are from last year’s championship.

There are so many rodeos that do an excellent job of posting results and utilizing our information-seeking society. I hope that trend continues. For now, though, we’ll just wait until the Ellensburg Rodeo ends and the final tabulations are released.