PECOS, Texas – Steven Dent has been one of the best bareback riders going down the rodeo trail most of his six-year ProRodeo career.
MGM Deuces Night has been one of the best bareback horses in the sport each of the past three seasons she’s bucked.
They’ll meet during the final performance of the West of the Pecos Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday at Buck Jackson Arena. It will be the first time the two great athletes have ever been matched, and it should be quite electric.
“Steven Dent probably will be 90 points and probably will win the rodeo,” said Pete Carr, owner of Dallas-based Carr Pro Rodeo, the livestock producer in Pecos. “That should be a great ride. Steven has been riding really well, and MGM Deuces Night has been pretty phenomenal this year, too.”
The 7-year-old bay/paint mare guided reigning world champion Kaycee Feild to the RodeoHouston victory with an arena-record 93 points, then helped rising star J.R. Vezain to the win in Guymon, Okla., with 89 points. Dent is a four-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo; he finished in the top five in the final world standings two times – second in 2008 and fourth in 2010.
That will be one of several great bareback riding match-ups featured in Pecos. Others will be Caine Riddle on Real Deal, the 2005 PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year; Clint Cannon on Dirty Jacket; and Wes Stevenson on Big Lights, just to name a few.
“Real Deal is always phenomenal in Pecos,” Carr said. “I’d say Caine will be 85 or so and in the money. Clint rides good, so he’s going to be in the money on Dirty Jacket. Wes will probably be 86 or 87 on Big Lights, but I think Steven will win it.”
Cody DeMoss is one of the hottest saddle bronc riders going right now. He just won the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo this past weekend, and he is matched with NFR veteran Coffee Bean.
“Cody will be the early leader,” Carr said. “I don’t know if he’ll keep it, but he should be 85 or 86. There are some great match-ups in bronc riding, though. Jesse Kruse rides great, and he’s got Ginger Snap, and Rusty Allen on Cool Runnings could be in the money. That horse was the rankest horse at San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Guymon. He one-jumped Josh Reynolds in Oklahoma City, and Taos Muncy would’ve won Guymon on him if he hadn’t missed his mark-out.”
Bareback riders and bronc riders know the penalty for not having their heels over the breaks of a horse’s shoulders on the first jump out of the chute is a no score, which is what Muncy suffered. Bull riders don’t have to worry about mark-outs; just hanging on to the back of a bucking bull is tough enough, and the cowboys in Pecos will have their hands full.
“We’ve got some really good ones in Private Eyes, The Warden, The Mexican, Black Powder,” Carr said, naming just a few of the great new bulls that carry the Rafter C brand. “Skunk Stomper’s a good one, and he’s got Kanin Asay.”
Asay is a four-time NFR qualifier, so that’s an interesting match-up. So is Private Eyes vs. Luke Haught and Black Gold vs. Clayton Savage, a two-time NFR qualifier.
“Black Gold has been to the NFR three times and is having a great year, but nobody’s able to ride him,” Carr said. “If Luke rides Private Eyes, he’ll be a bunch of points.”