STEPHENVILLE, Texas – Some of the greatest names in the sport of rodeo will be in Erath County for the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo.
But the group with the greatest admirers will be the three sets of high school coaches who will compete in the wild cow saddling during each of the three performances set for 7:45 p.m. Thursday, June 9-Saturday, June 11, at Lone Star Arena.
“It’s a fun, local event, and the crowd really gets a kick out of it,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo, the stock contractor in Stephenville. “There will be three schools represented by the coaches, and it’s a blast to watch.”
It’s one of the outstanding pieces of an entertaining puzzle put on by the Erath County Livestock Association, and proceeds go to area 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs. That’s a big deal for the people involved in the association and why they spend hundreds of man hours preparing for and producing the annual rodeo.
“We’re always trying to find that crowd-pleaser,” said Dean Taylor, a longtime member of the rodeo committee. “We also have mutton busting for the kids and a huge county team roping, where we bring five teams back each night. Each night a team will win a buckle and cash prizes. We have these events to cater to our local cowboys.”
But the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo is in the business of entertaining, and organizers realize it takes something special to reach the rodeo-savvy folks from this region. Having the professionals from the Carr Pro Rodeo team on board helps with that process; whether it involves some of the greatest animal athletes in the sport or the outstanding production, fans know what to expect.
Rodeo isn’t just about the nasty bucking beasts and the cowboys that ride them. It’s a display of pure grit, determination and raw athletic talent. It’s also a show fans flock to throughout the year.
“Pete’s a super nice guy, and even to the guys that haven’t gone as much, he’s really good to us,” said Casey Sisk, who was part of the Tarleton State University rodeo team. “He’s got a good crew, and the rodeos are run great. You can tell everyone involved with Carr cares about making a good rodeo.”
There will be two specialty acts involved in this year’s event: Trick rider Blake Goode, who performs Roman riding on two Brahma bulls, and funnyman/barrelman John Harrison, one of the most sought-after acts in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“Pete hires the best people to do their jobs the best they can,” said Scotty Spencer, a bullfighter who also works as a hand on the Carr Pro Rodeo ranch near Athens, Texas. “Our rodeos are, by far, the smoothest run, professional rodeos I’ve been to, and I work a lot of other rodeos besides ours.
“Everybody gets along, especially when it’s time to get along. When its rodeo time, things click off. Everybody just jumps in and helps where they need to be helping.”
And it adds up to a positive, entertaining evening for fans. For Carr, that’s the most important factor when producing a rodeo.
“Pete’s been real good to work with,” Taylor said. “He is sure trying. We’ve had good horses, and we draw the top cowboys, as many as you can at a rodeo like this. This is the kind of show fans would want to see.”