WACO, Texas – Dirty Jacket has been considered one of the greatest bareback horses in the world.
Now he’s been honored as the best bucking horse in the Lone Star State, recognized at such Jan. 3-5 during the Ram Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. The 9-year-old bay gelding was just one of a number of the Carr Pro Rodeo bucking animals that guided the top cowboys in the region to top paychecks during the three-day championship.
“He had a pretty good year,” said Pete Carr, owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm. “They won a lot of rodeos on Dirty Jacket in 2012, and a lot of those were Texas rodeos.”
That’s true. Two-time and reigning world champion Kaycee Feild won the bareback riding title in Fort Worth, led by his 89-point ride on Dirty Jacket in the final go-round; eight-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Wes Stevenson won San Angelo with an 87 in San Angelo; Jeremy Mouton’s 87 won in Bridgeport; and Matthew Smith was 87 in winning in Hempstead.
Dirty Jacket held true to form in Waco, guiding Steven Anding of Athens, Texas, to a first-place tie in the third go-round of the circuit finals. The pair matched moves for 87 points to tie Chris Harris of Itasca, Texas, who posted an 87 on Carr’s Collins Pride.
“If every one of them were like that, everyone would keep rodeoing,” said Anding, who had ridden Dirty Jacket to a second-place finish in the same arena 15 months before during the All American ProRodeo Finals. “He just bucks. He’s good to ride. He’s flashy, and the judges like him. He’s just a good one to draw.”
In all, cowboys earned $11,920 on Carr Pro Rodeo animals at the circuit finals, including round victories five times – the first and third rounds of bareback riding, the first and second rounds of saddle bronc riding and the third round of bull riding.
“The Texas Circuit has a lot of great contestants in every event, so we had some good match-ups all weekend long,” Carr said.
That’s true. In addition to regular finalists, the Waco competition was home to several NFR qualifiers in every event; they were just a few weeks removed from competing for the world championship in Las Vegas. That’s just one reason why the circuit finale is so competitive annually.
There’s no better proof than the final round, where Chandler Bownds of Lubbock, Texas, posted an 87-point ride on Carr’s Private Eyes to win the round and the $1,452 first-place prize. Bownds qualified for the NFR in 2011 and has shown the promise of returning there several times in his career, while Private Eyes is already in the mix for making his first trip to Vegas. In addition, rising star Cody Rostockyj of Hillsboro, Texas, finished second in the round with an 85 on Carr’s Synergy, an animal that has guided many cowboys to pay windows at Texas rodeos over the last few years.
The biggest earnings on Carr animals came in bareback riding, where six cowboys earned checks on the backs of Rafter C horses. Evan Jayne won the opening round with an 82 on Carr’s Island Girl, an 11-year-old bay mare that bucked at the NFR for the first time a month ago. Stevenson finished in a tie for second with an 81 on Carr’s Miss Hollywood.
Chad Rutherford finished as runner-up in the second round after an 82-point ride on Carr’s Cool Change. In addition to Anding and Harris sharing the third-round win, Richie Champion of The Woodlands, Texas, finished in a tie for fourth on Carr’s Outa Sight, an 8-year-old paint mare that has been selected to the NFR twice.
Seven-time NFR qualifier Bradley Harter of Weatherford, Texas, put on a classic saddle bronc ride to outlast three NFR veterans to finish in the top spot in the opening go-round; he matched moves with Carr’s Couch Jumper for 83 points to win the $1,452. That was a salty way to kick-start the three days of competition.
Australian Travis Edwards won the second round with an 82-point ride on Carr’s Sweet Emotion, a horse that’s been selected to buck at the NFR. Two-time NFR qualifier Jacobs Crawley of College Station, Texas, posted 79 points on Carr’s Empty Pockets on the final night of the competition to pick up the fourth-place check.
“I was pretty pleased with the way things went,” Carr said. “It’s a good way to start our new year.”