LOVINGTON, N.M. – The men and women who handle all the local logistics of the rodeo side of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo continue to find new and better ways to excite the crowds.
They also have leaned heavily on livestock producer Pete Carr to handle the heavy load during the rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7-Saturday, Aug. 10, at Jake McClure Arena. Carr owns the largest stock contracting company in the world, having acquired Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo earlier this year and mixing it together with his own Carr Pro Rodeo.
Now he’ll bring even more power to Lovington just as he has done at the other 33 rodeos he produces in 2013.
“Pete Carr is at the top of his game,” said Greg Massey, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board’s rodeo committee. “He has outstanding stock, and he wants it to be the very best it can be. I think we’re very fortunate to have Pete at our rodeo.”
For a number of years, many of the greatest animals in the game have led cowboys to victories in Lovington. Over the last two years alone, cowboys have been crowned champions in southeastern New Mexico on broncs like Real Deal, the 2005 world champion bareback horse; Dirty Jacket, the 2012 runner-up reserve world champion bareback horse; and Miss Congeniality, a saddle bronc that has been chosen to buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2011-12.
With the acquisition of Pete Carr’s Classic, this year just got that much better. At last year’s NFR, seven of those animals guided cowboys to go-round victories: Kattle Katie, Scarlet’s Web, Bipolar, Lori Darling, Gold Coast, River Boat Annie and Cool Runnings. Also in that magnificent herd is Big Tex, the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year that is being considered as a contender for the 2013 Saddle Bronc of the Year.
“Pete just brings us a first-class rodeo,” Massey said. “He has National Finals Rodeo-quality bucking stock, and he brings a lot of professionalism to our rodeo. Pete always delivers a lot more than he promises. He has a genuine interest in the rodeo, wanting to make it the best it can be. I appreciate that.”
So do contestants, and it’s not just the guys that ride bucking beasts that are talking about the significance of Carr rodeos.
“To me, Pete Carr is one of the new wave of stock contractors as much about one end of the arena as he does the other,” said Trevor Brazile, a 17-time world champion who owns a record 10 all-around gold buckles. “There have been stock contractors that don’t really have a complete rodeo. In my opinion, Pete puts on a complete rodeo.
“Pete has the best livestock there is to offer at both ends of the arena,” he said, referring to timed events and rough-stock events. “That’s something most stock contractors don’t have to offer … mostly that they don’t care enough to go the extra mile to do what Pete does. It costs him a little more for him to put on a rodeo because he wants it to be right.”
Brazile is just one of many who look at the hard work done by the Carr crew when they consider where they’ll go to compete.
“If I’ve got a tossup as to one rodeo or another and I see that Pete Carr has one rodeo, I know that if I go to Pete Carr’s rodeo I’ll have a better chance of winning money because the field’s fair,” Brazile said. “I know Pete’s doing his part. I know he’s going to have the best timed-event cattle. Those cattle are going to give everybody an even shot, and fans can learn to appreciate what they’re seeing.
“When you allow the contestants a shot at the best cattle, it brings the best out, which, in turn, makes for the best show for the fans.”
Carr’s crew works closely with local organizers to make the Lea County Fair and Rodeo a prestigious event each August.
“We’ve put in a lot of things to make our rodeo a better experience for everyone involved,” Massey said. “We want the contestants to talk about our rodeo all year long, but that’s just part of it. We want our fans talking about the rodeo, too.”