EAGLE, Colo. – A great bull ride is equal parts bucking beast, equal parts athletic cowboy.
When it comes together, fans walk away from the arena mesmerized, and they’ll talk about it for weeks to come. That’s what fans expect when they get to the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 25-Saturday, July 28.
Carr Pro Rodeo brings the bucking beasts.
“I’ve always tried to get the best animals I can get, whether they’re bulls, horses, calves or steers,” said Pete Carr, owner of the livestock company. “Everybody thinks I’m a horse guy, and I am; but I want to be known as a bull guy, too.”
For years, bull riders have seen Carr as a stock contractor that works hard to improve his herd. This year, Carr even admits he stepped up his game a little more.
“The bulls are awesome,” said Chandler Bownds, the 2011 rookie of the year from Lubbock, Texas. “Pete brought in some great subcontractors to juice up his great pen of bulls, and there were a bunch of bulls that bucked really hard.”
It’s a combination that is paying off for the top cowboys in the game. Trey Benton III won the Mercedes, Texas, rodeo in mid-March after scoring 91 points on Missing Parts, a dark brindle Carr recently acquired.
“He was pretty wolfy around to the right just at the gate,” Benton said of the energetic bull’s bucking motion. “He was really good. He just stumbled at the five-second mark, but I think he was even more after he stumbled. He got after it.
“You have to have a good bull to score 91, and Pete’s got one there.”
Benton wants that to happen a lot more. That gives the Rock Island, Texas, cowboy plenty of incentive to know where Carr Pro Rodeo bulls will be bucking. That’s one reason why many of the greatest bull riders in the game will make their way to Eagle this July.
“I’ve got some good ones in addition to Missing Parts,” Carr said. “I’ve got some great bulls in The Mexican, Black Ice, Black Powder, Morning After and Hot & Ready that went to a lot of the winter rodeos. I have some more outstanding bulls that I haven’t bucked just yet, but I think all of them have a lot of potential.”
The rodeo world has taken notice.
“Pete Carr has stepped up a lot with his bulls,” said Paul Peterson, the flankman for Carr Pro Rodeo who has been with the company since its inception. “There are a lot of new bulls at the ranch, and I’d say most of them are the kind you can take anywhere and they’ll be pretty strong.
“There are also some young bulls we still don’t know much about, but they look like they’re going to be really good.”
Not only is Benton working toward his first NFR qualification, he’s also on track to win the coveted Rookie of the Year title. Bownds did both a year ago and is hoping to do so again in 2012.
“I always try to make it to Pete’s rodeos,” Bownds said. “They’re always good rodeos, and you always get a chance to get on a good set of bulls, so that helps make them good rodeos to go to.”