BIG SPRING, Texas – Bradley Harter rides bucking horses for a living.
But there’s much more to his business than lifting on his rein and spurring; he studies horses and rodeos, all the while looking for the best match-ups possible. He knows he must finish at or near the top of the leaderboard if he’s going to make any money.
“Whenever I look at the list of rodeos, I make my plan, and I’ll go out of my way as long as I have a chance to draw quality stock,” said Harter, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Weatherford, Texas. “Every chance we get to go to rodeos Pete Carr does, we’re going to do what we can to make it.”
Carr owns Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, which will provide the livestock for the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 20-Saturday, June 22, at the Big Spring Rodeo Bowl.
“For every rodeo he does now, it makes it better for everyone,” Harter said. “It multiplies your chances to win money, because you know you’re getting on good horses. It used to be if you entered a rodeo, maybe there were three NFR horses there. That’s not the case at Pete’s rodeos, especially now.”
This past spring, Carr acquired Classic Pro Rodeo, a company that was established more than 20 years ago.
“I’m combining two of the best crews in rodeo to form one of the greatest rodeo companies,” Carr said. “I’m excited about the new opportunities that are ahead for the company. I want committees to know we have a lot to offer them. We’re going to have unprecedented resources for all the rodeos, which will benefit everyone involved: committees, sponsors, contestants and spectators.”
The contestants are seeing the benefit, too.
“Since he put two of the best rodeo companies together, that’s the kind of rodeo you want to go to,” Harter said. “When you combine them, they’re the best rodeos you’ll go to all year. I’m going to go where the best rodeos have the best horses for me to get on. It just gives us more of a chance every time we compete.”
The Carr firms boast of some of the greatest bucking animals in ProRodeo. Combined, the companies had 31 animals selected to perform at the NFR.
“Pete’s got a heck of a string put together,” said Wade Sundell, a four-time NFR qualifier from Boxholm, Iowa. “There are not a lot of people that can match him anymore.”
Sundell won the $50,000 round at RodeoHouston in March with a 90-point ride on the Pete Carr’s Classic horse Big Tex. In May, he won the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Okla., with, scoring 83 on Carr Pro Rodeo’s Social Call.
“It’s awesome when you have a good horse underneath you, because you know something good is going to happen,” he said.
That’s what Carr will bring to Big Spring, and that’s why the biggest names in the sport will be part of the Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo.