LOVINGTON, N.M. – To win in the game of rodeo, it takes equal doses of talent and luck. It also takes having a good dance partner.
Wesley Silcox believes in that sentiment. It’s what’s guided the Payson, Utah, cowboy through his eight-year career, including that magical 2007 season when he won the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s bull riding world championship. Just in case he needed a refresher course, he got one at last year’s Lea County Fair and Rodeo.
“He just stepped out of the chute and turned back to the left,” Silcox said of Charlie’s Bandito, the Carr Pro Rodeo bull he rode to win the 2010 Lovington rodeo. “He moves a little, and He’s not real smooth. He’s just a good one to have, and you know you can be a lot of points on him.”
Silcox was a lot of points, scoring an 89. That was worth $4,389. More importantly, it secured Silcox’s place in both the Justin Boots Playoffs in Puyallup, Wash., and the Justin Boots Championships in Omaha, Neb., events that take the top contestants in each event from the tour standings.
“It meant a lot, because it bumped me up in the tour standings, and I was able to go to Puyallup and Omaha,” he said. “Winning the tour rodeos is good for the end of the season.”
It definitely was for Silcox, who earned $30,882 in Omaha. That catapulted him to No. 1 in the world standings heading into the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He finished the season second only to three-time world champion J.W. Harris. It was a very successful season, and he plans to return to Lovington again this August in order to get on some of the greatest animal athletes in the sport.
“Pete Carr’s a really good guy who works hard,” Silcox said. “I don’t know him real well, but he’s trying real hard and trying to get us good stock we can get on. That’s what makes us want to go to his rodeos. He’s doing his best trying to get a bunch of good guys to come to his rodeos.”
Carr is one of the rising stars in the stock contracting business, and it has an established name in the world of bucking horses. The cowboys know it as well as anyone.
“He’s got some of the best horses out there,” said Louie Brunson, the reigning Lea County Fair and Rodeo saddle bronc riding champion from Interior, S.D. “He tries hard to get the best stock, tries to make it as good a deal for the cowboys as possible.”
Brunson won the Lovington rodeo with an 88-point ride on Carr’s True Lies, one of the top horses in the PRCA. In fact, Scott Miller of Boise, Idaho, also rode True Lies, finishing in second place with an 87.
“I rode that horse once at an amateur rodeo before Pete owned him,” Brunson said. “I didn’t recognize him until I saddled him up, then I realized and got pretty excited. He’s a really nice little horse.”
For several years, Brunson has been on the brink of a berth to the NFR, which features the top 15 contestants on the money list at the conclusion of the regular season.
“Winning that rodeo felt pretty good,” he said. “I was in a little slump, and it just felt good to ride good again. Winning really helped out a lot, some for my confidence because it was a really good score, but also because it helped me get to Puyallup. I don’t think I had any tour money won until that rodeo. That win gave me a legitimate shot at the NFR.”
He’d love to repeat and knows he’ll have a chance.
“Pete’s got an even pen of bucking horses, which means that no matter what horse you draw, you have a chance to win,” Brunson said. “That’s real important. It keeps it fair. At some rodeos you go to, there’ll be that one top horse, and if you get him drawn, then you’ve got first place. With Pete’s you can win on anything, because everything’s good.”