Dirty Jacket is a bareback rider’s dream

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BRIDGEPORT, Texas – A great bucking horse has something special, something that makes it stand out above most of the others.

Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket is one of those outstanding bucking horses, a fixture at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, which features the greatest animal athletes each season. But it’s more than that, really.

You see, Dirty Jacket is part of the elite pen of NFR horses, those that are bucked in the fifth and 10th go-rounds of ProRodeo’s grand finale each December. He’s there because the bareback riders want him there; they want the chance to show off their skills on the greatest animals in the business on those particular nights.

It’s animals like that that have made Carr Pro Rodeo one of the top livestock producers in the game, and the Dallas-based firm is carrying that tradition to the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 11-12, at Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.

That’s where the sport’s best will showcase their talents both nights and fans will get a chance to see greatness in action.

“That horse is in his prime,” said Wes Stevenson, a seven-time NFR qualifier from Lubbock, Texas. “He could be having one of the better years he’s had, and that’s saying a lot.”

The best bareback riders in the world have considered Dirty Jacket one of the best bucking horses in the business for several years.

“That horse has just gotten better,” said Stevenson, who scored 87 points on Dirty Jacket to win the short go-round and the average titles in San Angelo, Texas, in February. “I think he may have stepped it up from what we’ve seen.”

The 8-year-old bay gelding has been quite spectacular this season.

“When he leaves the chute, he’s trying to kick the flankman off the back of the chute. He’s so fast, and he bucks so hard,” said reigning world champion Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, who won the championship round in Fort Worth, Texas, earlier this year on Dirty Jacket. “There’s no way you can muscle up on him. You’ve got to be fast and aggressive, or he will get you out of shape and might get you bucked off.”

Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo, has a dozen animals selected to the finals each year, a couple of which are bucked in the fifth and 10th rounds. Carr owns some of the greatest bucking animals in ProRodeo, including Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Riding Horse of the Year, and Riverboat Annie, the 2007 reserve world champion bareback horse.

“This spring is the best I’ve seen Dirty Jacket,” Carr said. “He’s been phenomenal.”

Part of it has to do with the genetics that have made the gelding such a great athlete. But the cowboys who ride the bucking machine know there’s more to it.

“I think guys are going to win a lot of money on him,” said Cody DeMers, a four-time NFR qualifier from Kimberly, Idaho. “You dang sure have to ride good. Those kinds of horses are the ones that are going to psych you up and talk you into riding good.

“Having horses like that says a lot for Pete. He takes care of those horses. He babies those horses. He probably loves those horses as much as he does his own family.”

Heath Ford is the event representative for bareback riders. It’s his job to help select the horses to compete in Las Vegas. He’s also a three-time NFR qualifier, so he knows a little bit about it.

“He’s so electric,” Ford said of Dirty Jacket. “I think maybe he’s Pete’s best horse this year.”

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John M. Baldwin / January 13, 2013

I would love to see his 2009 Big Springs Texas Rodeo performance. Heard it was record breaking. If anyone has a copy. please contact me.

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