BRIDGEPORT, Texas – The organizers of the local rodeo have one thought in mind: Make the Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo the best it can be.
To that end, the volunteers who donate their time, talent and energy into producing the annual event reached into the metro area to help take the rodeo to the next level by hiring Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo, one of the top livestock producers in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“I go to a lot of rodeos, and I like what I’ve seen in Pete Carr,” said Lloyd Williams, chairman of the committee. “What sold me on him was that I’ve got a son that goes to 30 to 40 rodeos a year, and I go a lot with him. I saw the animals he took to the circuit finals in Waco and the All-American finals in Waco, and I was impressed.
“I’ve seen what he does at his rodeos, and I love the production of things he’s got into it. It’s a good show, and it really runs off good. It seems to be more professional than what we’ve been doing.”
That’s why Carr Pro Rodeo will be putting the pieces to the puzzle together for this year’s Butterfield Stage Days PRCA Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 11-12, at Bridgeport Riding Club Arena.
“We really appreciate the opportunity to work in such a long-standing rodeo town and with such a great committee,” Carr said. “We are very honored that this committee placed their trust in us, and we plan on continuing to bring the best we can bring to all our committees.”
The Carr crew includes rodeo veterans like John and Sandy Gwatney and Paul Peterson, all of whom have worked some of the biggest events in ProRodeo, including the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. By having production experts like that, Carr Pro Rodeo brings in a championship-caliber experience to a local rodeo flair.
“Our rodeo grows a little each year,” Williams said. “We’ve got a lot of good things going on. Our Friday show will be our pink night, our cancer night, where we’ll raise money to fight cancer. The money we raise will stay within Wise County.”
That’s an important factor, because it’s proof that the committee has reaching out to the community as its focus.
“We’ll have a survivor grand entry,” Williams said, explaining that the rodeo’s opening will include cancer survivors.
This marks the 36th year for the Bridgeport rodeo but just the sixth year it is part of ProRodeo. Williams said the event was an amateur rodeo for 30 years.
“We wanted to be a ProRodeo because we want to try to get the top athletes in,” he said. “It was time for a change. It had gotten stale, so we thought we’d change big time. The city wanted to incorporate it with the Butterfield Stage Days, so we did.”
The city’s annual Butterfield Stage Days takes place in the city park at the same time of the rodeo, so there will be plenty of activity around the community all weekend long. Veterans, firefighters and police officer will be admitted to the rodeo for free on Friday night.
“I look forward to working with the Bridgeport committee this year and begin building a long-lasting relationship,” Carr said.