TEXARKANA, Ark. – Just looking in his eyes and seeing his demeanor, one could easily tell Dirty Jacket is all business who loves his job.
He’s big and powerful, just like his daddy, the late Night Jacket, one of the most storied sires in the bucking horse industry. What sets Dirty Jacket apart from most other great broncs in ProRodeo is the passion he carries into the arena.
He’ll get to experience that special feeling at the Four States Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18-Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Four States Fair Entertainment Center in Texarkana, Ark.
“That first jump is what makes bareback riding fun,” said Jessy Davis, a four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Power, Mont., who won the rodeo in Lovington, N.M., after an 87-point ride in August. “That first jump out when they explode out of there and you know you’ve got him hooked, it feels pretty dang good. You can feel him after that and build your ride.
“That’s a dang nice horse, one that will help you out a lot. He’s a pretty well-built horse, too.”
Dirty Jacket is well on his way to the NFR for the fifth straight time and has been recognized as one of the very best bucking horses in the business since he was 5 years old. Last year alone, the Carr Pro Rodeo bronc was named the Texas Circuit Bareback of the Year and the runner-up Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse.
“He’s the perfect bucking horse, because he loves what he does and he’s excited when it’s time to buck,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo and Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo. “He ready when he gets to the chute, and he stands there until the gate opens; then he has a big leap in the air and bucks hard every time.
“When the whistle blows, he lines out with the pickup man and allows the guys to get off without any problem. He’s the kind of horse all the bareback riders want to draw, because they know that as long as they don’t stub their toe, they’re going to win.”
That’s been the case most of the time this year. Of the nine times the big bay has bucked in 2013, cowboys have won at least a share of the go-round eight times.
“That’s the best bucking horse I’ve ever been on in my life,” said Taylor Price of Huntsville, Texas, who rode Dirty Jacket for 88 points to win in Pecos, Texas, in June.
He’s not the only cowboy who feels that way. Jared Keylon shared the final-round victory at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo with an 87-point ride on the gelding.
“There’s not another one like that horse,” said Keylon, a 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Uniontown, Kan. “Just the sheer ability to stand flat-footed and jump that high in the air is incredible. Just his athleticism alone is so impressive.
“That horse is as good an athlete as any cowboy going down the road. When I nodded my head, it felt like we leaped 10 feet off the ground. That was the coolest horse to mark out in the world, because he shoots straight up. The way he’s built, he almost cradles you, almost saddles you up under the rigging. He almost spurs himself with the way he bucks. It was awesome.”