BIG SPRING, Texas – For most of the rodeo world, Quail Dobbs was a bullfighter and rodeo clown that everyone adored.
He was a two-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Clown of the Year who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame.
For folks in Howard County, he was just Quail: a family member, a friend and man of the community. Dobbs died this past January at the age of 72, leaving behind his wife, Judy; daughter, Stephanie Rotan; a son, Coley Dobbs; and four grandchildren.
His life will be honored during each of the three performances of the Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 19-Saturday, June 21, at the Big Spring Rodeo Bowl.
“He was the dad, the husband and the grandfather as much as he was the clown,” said Dane Driver, chairman of the committee that organizes the annual rodeo. “For our board, he was our friend and a committeeman who was always a big part of our rodeo.”
The ceremony will be just one of several things in store for fans. Driver said organizers plan to keep with the rodeo’s longstanding traditions while also expounding upon the overall entertainment value of the show.
“The one thing we have with Pete Carr as our stock contractor is that we have a well-produced rodeo,” he said, referring to Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which owns more animals than any other stock contractor in North America. “This year, we want to kick it up a notch. We want this to be the kind of rodeo everyone will enjoy, from those who grew up with the sport out here in West Texas to the people who have never been to a rodeo.”
The Carr firm is one of the top outfits in the PRCA. In 2013, Carr was nominated for Stock Contractor of the Year; meanwhile, 27 Carr animals were selected to perform at ProRodeo’s grand finale, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Those NFR horses and bulls are just a small taste of the tremendous number of animal athletes that reside on the Carr ranch near Athens, Texas.
“We’ve certainly been blessed with some great success in the last few years,” Carr said. “We have a great group of hard-working people who care about the sport and everything that goes into it.”
For the 2014 season, the Carr firm will produce more than 30 rodeos and will have livestock at a number of other events across the country. It takes a great team and outstanding animal athletes to make those events successful, and Pete Carr Pro Rodeo has both.
“He’s not even going to have a B pen before long,” said saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss, a five-time NFR qualifier from Heflin, La. “He’s going to have an A plus and an A pen. He’s got an eye for horses, and he’s surrounded himself with people who know what they’re talking about. You want to go to Pete’s rodeos, because you’re going to get on something.”
In Big Spring, the Carr production will mix quite well with the community’s West Texas nature. It’s the perfect way to honor the life of Quail Dobbs.