SILVERTON, Texas – Sometimes the harshest critic is the person doing the biggest favor.
Pete Carr is that for his Dallas-based livestock firm, Carr Pro Rodeo. He analyzes every detail of his operation, from the bookwork to the ranch work to the evaluating his herd.
“You’ve got to be aware of how things are going and always be willing to make changes if that’s what it takes to improve,” said Carr, the primary livestock producer for Silverton’s Buck Wild Days Rodeo, which will have three performances set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18-Saturday, Aug. 20. “I want to make sure we’re always improving.”
That mindset comes down to putting on the best rodeo for fans; it’s also what leads Carr to the best animals in the business. The theory is simple: Great bucking animals will bring the great cowboys. The reality is coming to fruition, too, and that’s one aspect of the equation that helps make events like the Buck Wild Days Rodeo that much better.
“I was hanging out in Pecos (Texas) with bull riders J.W. Harris and Cooper Kanngiesser,” Carr said, noting that Kanngiesser has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Harris is the three-time reigning world champion. “I told them I needed some great bulls, and they fixed me up. I just bought a bunch of new bulls from Cooper, so I’m really excited.”
As they talked, Kanngiesser realized he had something that could help Carr. In fact, a neighbor to Kanngiesser’s near Zenda, Kan., also threw in a few animals to help bolster Carr’s herd.
“We just sat there and talked, which is how these deals get started,” said Kanngieser, who worked the deal in which four of his bulls and four of his neighbors’ bulls were sold to Carr. “Pete’s bulls at Pecos were good, but there were a handful of them that were on their downhill stroke. He knew that, but he didn’t know of anybody that could help him. I study bulls, whether they’re mine or somebody else’s, and I told him exactly what the bulls were.
“A lot of guys will talk, but they won’t follow through. Pete followed through. You know he wants to make everything better.
More bull riders are noticing that.
“I think Pete does a really good job,” said Howdy Cloud, a three-time NFR qualifier from Kountze, Texas. “He’s got a really even set of bulls, and most of them are the kinds of bulls that you really want to get on.”
Cloud should know. He’s the defending Silverton champion, having ridden Carr’s Wolf Pup for 88 points to win the title.
“It was a really good rodeo,” he said. It was the first time I’d ever been there. Of course, I had a really good bull.”
That trend is growing, of course. Carr is reaching out to bull riders to get an understanding of the kinds of bulls they like to get on; once he gets that information, Carr sets out to build to his herd.
“Pete Carr’s a really good guy who works hard,” said Silcox, the 2007 world champion from Payson, Utah. “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.”
Part of it is because Carr knows how important great bucking beasts are to cowboys. A former bareback rider, Carr knows the difference between first and second place might depend on the animal.
“I take a lot of pride in having the kind of animals the cowboys want to get on,” Carr said. “The fans come to see a good rodeo, and I think having good animals to get on gives us a better opportunity to draw the best cowboys in the world when they have a choice on which rodeos to enter. Together that makes it a great experience for the paying customers.
“We will keep striving to improve our herds every year because we want to attract the best cowboys to come to these rodeos.”