SILVERTON, Texas – 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 Silverton’s Buck Wild Days Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16-Saturday, Aug. 18.
Jacob O’Mara knows what it takes to be a great bull rider. The Louisiana cowboy qualified for this first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo last year; just a month ago, he won the Navajo Nation Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo in Window Rock, Ariz. He knows he can expect to get on great bulls in the Navajo Nation; Lovington, N.M.; and Silverton.
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.”
O’Mara knew he had something special when he was preparing to ride Carr’s Morning After, a young bull he’d never seen buck. And while none of his traveling buddies knew anything about the bull, O’Mara had an idea there was something electric in the young animal.
“They told me they were going to save me for last,” said O’Mara, 20, of Prairieville, La. “That’s when I first thought this bull might have something to him. I knew they were trying to sell the show with the best stuff, so I figured it’d be great.”
The result? O’Mara and Morning After matched moves for 89 points to win Window Rock, earning the young cowboy $4,119.
“That bull was great; he just went out a couple (jumps), then turned back,” O’Mara said, describing how the animal began more of a spinning motion. “Anything you can score 89 points on is pretty good.”
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.”
Carr does what it takes to reach out to bull riders, from talking about great animal athletes to bringing in sub-contractors to rodeos so the cowboys get the best chance possible to win money. Jarrod Craig of Hillsboro, Texas, rode the bull Itch N Scratch for 87 points to share the win with Chris Roundy of Panguitch, Utah; Roundy rode Carr’s The Mexican, and each cowboy earned $3,097.
“That bull bucks hard,” Craig said of Itch N Scratch.
Roundy had similar comments for The Mexican.
“He was really good,” Roundy said. “I had seen him a bunch of times before, so I knew what he was going to do. That helped, but he was definitely good.”
The Carr bulls have been gaining plenty of acclaim throughout this rodeo season. Trey Benton III won the Mercedes, Texas, rodeo in mid-March after scoring 91 points on Missing Parts.
“He was really good,” said Benton, of Rock Island, Texas. “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.”
Carr knows he’s got some special athletes that will be part of the excitement in Lovington, just as they have been at rodeos leading up to the August extravaganza.
“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.”