TEXARKANA, Ark. – Just a few miles east of historic State Line Avenue sit another piece of Texarkana history: the Four States Fair and Rodeo.
The history returns again this year, with Pete Carr and his crews coming to town to produce the annual rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18-Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Four States Fair Entertainment Center in Texarkana, Ark.
“I know you couldn’t ask for any better animals at one rodeo,” said Ronny Sparks, chairman of the rodeo committee. “That’s what we want. One thing about our rodeo is that with this time of year, we’ve got a lot of guys coming that are on the bubble to make the National Finals (Rodeo). They only take the top 15 in each event, so they’re all busting their butts to make as much money as they can this time of year.”
Sparks knows a thing or two about quality rodeo. He and his twin brother, Donny, were professional bullfighters for many years. In fact, they were two of the best in the business – Ronny was a three-time Wrangler Bullfights world champion, and Donny was a three-time reserve world champion. Now Ronny works hard to put on a great rodeo for his hometown.
“There are a lot of people involved in our rodeo that love the sport, and they know when we get an NFR-caliber contestant here,” he said. “We’ll see a lot of them, that’s for sure, and part of that comes back to the stock we’ll have.”
Carr, owner of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo and Carr Pro Rodeo, will produce the four performances of Texarkana’s rodeo; it’s the showcase of the Ark-La-Tex, and it’s exactly what makes the sport of rodeo so grand.
“It’s nice to go to a rodeo and have really good horses, because you know the stock contractor is going to have that kind of caliber of animals,” said saddle bronc Jake Wright, a 2012 NFR qualifier. “You know it’s going to be a riding contest instead of a drawing contest. It’s pretty sweet.”
Wright shared the event championship in Lovington, N.M., with his oldest brother, Cody Wright, a two-time world champion. Both the Milford, Utah, cowboys rode Carr horses for 87 points to claim the coveted title. The top cowboys in the game will nod their heads for a chance to win some big-time money on Carr horses in Texarkana.
Those are a few of the powerful tools that come with the combination of Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo. Mixing them together has created the largest stock contracting company in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“That’s a lot of animals pooled together in one spot,” said Will Lowe, a three-time world champion bareback rider from Canyon, Texas. “You can put together whatever type of pen you want when you have that many horses, and it’s always going to be in the high 80s.”
That’s great for contestants, but it’s a coup for fans, who will get to see the biggest names in the sport test their talents against the best bucking animals in the game.
“I’m combining two of the best crews in rodeo to form one of the top rodeo companies in our industry,” said Pete Carr, the owner of the stock contracting firms. “I’m excited about the new opportunities that are ahead for the company. I want committees to know we have a lot to offer them. We’re going to have unprecedented resources for all the rodeos, which will benefit everyone involved: committees, sponsors, contestants and spectators.”
With the Carr firms bringing the power to Texarkana, it should be an electric showcase.