ALLEN, Texas – To put on a great show, producers need a strong cast of characters.
The Tom Thumb Texas Stampede has a powerful cast, from great country acts like Tracy Lawrence and Lee Brice to ProRodeo’s biggest names to the sport’s greatest animal athletes from Carr Pro Rodeo. They’ll all be showcased at this year’s stampede, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, and noon and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Allen Events Center.
“You dang sure know you’re going to get on some good buckers when you go to a Carr rodeo,” said saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, a two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Elsmere, Neb. “Shoot, that’s why we do this, so we can ride great bucking horses, and Pete Carr has a pen full of them at every rodeo he goes to.”
Carr owns the Dallas-based livestock firm, which will be the primary producer for the Tom Thumb Texas Stampede. Not only are his animals recognized as some of the best by being selected to perform at the NFR every year, his Rafter C brand is on two of the top three bareback horses in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
MGM Deuces Night, a 7-year-old bay mare, was named the 2012 Bareback Horse of the Year, while her half-brother, 8-year-old bay gelding Dirty Jacket, was selected as the second runner-up.
“We’re very blessed to have two of the top horses in the voting this year, and I think it says a lot about the bloodlines of these great animals,” Carr said. “MGM Deuces Night and Dirty Jacket are exceptional bucking horses, and it means a lot to me for them to be honored like this.”
They’re just two of the great animals from the firm. The Carr crew will arrive in Allen with a truckload of excellent athletes, from the numerous animals that have been selected to buck at the NFR to a couple of longstanding stalwarts like Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Horse of the Year, and River Boat Annie, the 2007 reserve world champion bareback horse.
Of course, the top contestants in the game have been salivating at the opportunity to get on the top animals from this season.
“I feel like that’s the best pick they could’ve possibly had this year,” Jared Keylon, a first-time NFR qualifier from Uniontown, Kan., said of MGM Deuces Night. “I believe the horse-of-the-year award should always go to the horses that everybody wins on but one you have to work a little bit to get along with them. The horse of the year should be the one that if you ride really well, you can be close to 90 on every time.
“That’s what you get every time with Deuces Night.”
That’s what’s so special about the mare.
“Every time I’ve seen her, she does the same thing,” said Casey Colletti, a two-time NFR qualifier from Pueblo, Colo. “She angles to the left and bails in the air. What’s really cool is that she tries as hard as she can every time.
“That is a bucking horse I dream of when I think of bucking horses.”
The reality, though, is there is an opportunity to win on any animal that will buck at the Tom Thumb Texas Stampede. Though considered one of the ranker horses in the PRCA, Real Deal had winning attributes for reigning world champion Kaycee Feild and two-time NFR qualifier Brian Bain. Feild spurred Real Deal for 89 points to win in Lovington, N.M., while Bain posted an 88 to win Eagle, Colo.
“I knew that horse had a different move around the post (of the chute), but I wasn’t expecting it four times,” Feild said of how many times the powerful 12-year-old brown gelding changed leads during the eight-second ride. “It sure was fun. I really couldn’t just sit down the first two or three jumps. It took me that long to extend my spur stroke.
“That’s what I crave. That’s what I ride bucking horses for is to get on the rankest, baddest horses. I can prove, not only to my friends but also to myself, that I can spur anything and that I can spur the bad ones. It’s definitely a confidence booster when you can get on a bad one and spur him every jump.”
Someone will get that opportunity in Allen, and everyone who nods their heads at the Allen Event Center will have a chance to win the coveted title.