PECOS, Texas – The work on the 130th West of the Pecos Rodeo began shortly after the 129th edition ended.
All that labor will be shown off this week when hundreds of ProRodeo’s brightest stars converge on this west Texas community for four performances of the World’s First Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday at Buck Jackson Arena.
In all, about 70 ProRodeo world championships and dozens more Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers will be part of the action in Pecos. They’re just part of the equation for the world-class competition that will be featured in less than a week’s time in west Texas; the rodeo also will feature some of the greatest animal athletes in the sport.
From the great timed-event horses that guide the ropers, wrestler and racers to the bucking beasts from Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, the historic event is the perfect place to display the very best that rodeo has to offer. After all, this is the home of the World’s First Rodeo, with this sparkling tradition dating back to 1883.
“We’re real blessed that we’ve got Pete Carr, because ever since he got here, our rodeo just keeps getting better,” said Hugh Box, a longtime member of the volunteer committee that produces the rodeo. “We’ve got Boyd (Polhamus), and I think having the National Finals announcer here is a big calling card for our rodeo. We’ve also got Benje (Bendele), who does the sound at the finals every year.
“Those guys want to keep this thing going. They make it good for the people in the stands.”
That’s an important factor. Carr features 31 animals that performed at the 2012 NFR, including athletic horses like Dirty Jacket, the runner-up Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse; Big Tex, the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year that now performs in saddle bronc riding; Real Deal, the 2005 Bareback Horse of the Year; River Boat Annie, the 2007 Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse; and several other elite horses like Scarlet’s Web, Night Bells, Gold Coast and Good Time Charlie.
Just this year, Big Tex has led bronc riders to big wins in San Antonio, Houston and the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo; Dirty Jacket has done the same in San Antonio, the RNCFR and Claremore, Okla.
“That’s the one,” said Curtis Garton, who rode Big Tex to win the national championship in Oklahoma City this past April. “Coming into this rodeo, they asked me what my dream draw was, and I didn’t have to think about that: Big Tex. I just thank the Lord that it all worked out.”
The combination of tremendous athletes and historic rodeo is a win-win for fans who love the sport and its history. That’s what makes the West of the Pecos Rodeo so special.