GUYMON, Okla. – The annual Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo has long been a showcase of rodeo’s brightest stars.
Of course, Texas County is home to some of the greatest world champions in ProRodeo, where gold buckle-holders like Billy Etbauer, Robert Etbauer, Tom Reeves, Taos Muncy, Rocky Patterson and Jhett Johnson have all lived and/or were trained in the art of cowboying for a living. In all, those men own 14 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championships.
But the cowboys and cowgirls aren’t the only elite-caliber athletes making the trek to the Oklahoma Panhandle. In addition to the hundreds of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers, Pioneer Days Rodeo annually hosts some of the greatest animal athletes in the business. This year, those numbers have been upped a notch.
“We will have right at 60 NFR animals performing during the four performances in Guymon next weekend,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo, the primary stock contractor at Pioneer Days Rodeo. “Over 50 of those are horses; the bulls have a shorter life span as far as bucking, but we are bringing some of the best young bulls in the country that are just starting to be recognized nationally.”
In addition to Carr Pro Rodeo, other firms will be Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo (which Carr purchased recently), Powder River Rodeo Co. and Korkow Rodeos. All are established and elite contracting companies that provide bucking horses and bulls at rodeos all across the country.
“We’ve been recognized for years for having some of the best livestock of any rodeo in the country, and this is a great indication that we’re continuing to strive for more every year,” said Ken Stonecipher, the rodeo’s production manager. “This just adds to the great rodeo our fans know they can experience in Guymon.”
Having great bucking stock is another key reason why rodeo’s greatest champions are excited to return to the Oklahoma Panhandle every spring.
“Guymon’s one of the rodeos that everyone looks forward to going because there are so many good horses,” said Muncy, a two-time world champion who won the collegiate saddle bronc riding title as a sophomore at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, which rests just 10 miles southwest of Guymon. “You know it’s going to be a spurring contest instead of a drawing contest.
“You know that no matter what performance you’re in, you have a chance to win the rodeo.”