SILVER CITY, N.M. – The tree-lined grassland in east Texas is home to some of the greatest bucking animals in rodeo.
In the coming days, those majestic animals will arrive in Grant County to be a major part of the showcase that is the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 6-Saturday, June 8, at Southwest Horseman’s Park. When they arrive in Silver City, they’ll be ready to perform.
“They’re all bred to buck, and even though they all have different personalities, they’re ready to go,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, two elite livestock producers in the sport. “By getting on the truck, they know they’re going to go buck. They’re pretty eager to get on the truck.”
They’re pretty good, too. In fact, the Carr firms accounted for 31 animals that were selected to buck at the 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand championship that takes place each December in Las Vegas. In all, more than 70 NFR animals make their home on Carr property about 900 miles east of Silver City.
“These animals thrive on this,” Carr said. “It’s just like people. When somebody feels good, they’re happy and they’re upbeat. They carry themselves differently.
“It’s the same with a horse. When a bucking horse knows he’s going to get to buck, he gets excited, and he’s ready to go.”
This year the Carr firms will produce 33 rodeos in 13 states, and they’ll have the type of power that’s a major draw for the sport’s top cowboys.
“The thing about Pete Carr’s rodeos is that when you go to one, you know you’re going to get a chance to win first,” said bareback rider Matt Bright, a three-time NFR qualifier from Azle, Texas. “A lot of guys don’t have that.
“I really respect that guy a lot, because he used to be a bareback rider himself. I think that’s why he’s got such a good pen of bareback horses. He knows what kinds of horses guys can win on.”
Fans in Silver City know what kind of animal athletes come to town every June. Three years ago, Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo horse Big Tex helped bareback rider Tilden Hooper to a world record-tying 94-point ride inside Southwest Horseman’s Park. Big Tex went on to be named the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
In fact, three Carr horses have earned that title: Real Deal won in 2005, and MGM Deuces Night earned the title last year. The Carr roster also includes River Boat Annie, the 2007 reserve world champion bareback horse; Dirty Jacket, the 2012 runner-up reserve world champion bareback horse; and Grass Dancer, which guided bareback rider Ryan Gray to record-tying 94-point ride in 2009 at Eagle, Colo.
“Pete has a list of really good animals,” said saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy, a two-time world champion. “That’s what’s great about going to his rodeos; you know you’re going to get a good horse.”