Below is an article I wrote and released to the media today on behalf of Carr Pro Rodeo and the Tom Thumb Texas Stampde, which takes place Nov. 12-13 in Allen, Texas.
ALLEN, Texas – J.W. Harris has proven himself one of the best bull riders in the history of the sport.
He owns the last two Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world championships, and he’s earned a nice living trying to tame bucking beasts. When he shows up to compete, he stands a great chance to win. But when he competes at the Tom Thumb Texas Stampede at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov. 12-13, at the Allen Events Center, there’s more than a big paycheck available.
“I think it’s just a cool event because of what they benefit,” Harris said, referring to the children’s charities of north Texas. “Every year at the auction, I always donate some money. The benefit is the biggest reason for me. I’ve seen the kids from the children’s hospital, and it just melts your heart. When they introduced us before last year, it makes you tear up. It’s not because you’re crying; it’s because you’re happy because you know how much it means to those kids.
“It makes you realize there are worse things that happen to you than being thrown off by a bull.”
The Texas Stampede will feature eight of the best athletes in bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and barrel racing. Each contestant will ride four times in the two-day event, all the while competing for some of the biggest prize money in rodeo. They’ll also be competing on some of the best bucking animals in the sport.
That’s why Carr Pro Rodeo is part of the festivities. Over the last five years, Pete Carr has built his livestock firm into one of the best in ProRodeo, and being able to showcase the Dallas-based livestock in the metroplex is a big deal to him.
“The Texas Stampede has been a big deal in this area a long time, and I’m just glad we’re part of it,” Carr said. “This is a great organization and a great event. These are the top cowboys in rodeo, and I think we’ve got some great animals that’ll be part of the mix.”
This is the 10th annual Texas Stampede but the first year in Allen. It’s a positive move for the event that raises money for children’s charities in North Texas, said the Texas Stampede’s Randy Lewallyn.
“The partnership with the city of Allen is the biggest element to our moving,” Lewallyn said. “The city of Allen has stepped up in a major way and has adopted the Texas Stampede as a signature event in our community. The Event Center is a new facility that is going to be a very exciting and energetic atmosphere. It has a lot of the same bells and whistles as some of the larger arenas, and it’s in the heart of a thriving retail and restaurant development in Allen.”
The invited-only field will be the best in the business, from world champions to regular qualifiers to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“This is a one-of-a-kind event that puts the best against the best,” Carr said. “It’s important for us to be involved here so close to Dallas.”
The competition will feature a tie-down roping match Saturday night between world champions Trevor Brazile and Fred Whitfield, while Friday night will be a showcase of the Stampede’s Team Roping Classic Series, a tour of amateur team ropers. On Saturday afternoon, the event will feature a Championship Bull Riders Horizon Tour event, which begins at noon.
If that weren’t enough, the Texas Stampede has also scheduled top-of-the-line concerts to take place after the Friday night and Saturday night performances. Dierks Bentley will perform Friday night, and Montgomery Gentry’s concert is Saturday.
“This truly will be an event that is a major part of the community,” Lewallyn said. “It’s not just Allen, but all of North Texas.”