PECOS, Texas – The West of the Pecos Rodeo is the most historic showcase in the game, dating more than 130 years.
The Pecos championship buckle is one of the most cherished prizes in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and hundreds of the sport’s top players make their way to West Texas for a shot at the wearable trophy and their share of the large purse.
Adding to the prestige and excitement is the top-level event from the staff at Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which returns to produce the annual rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25-Saturday, June 28, at Buck Jackson Arena.
“We’re very blessed to be part of the tradition of the West of the Pecos Rodeo,” said Pete Carr, owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm. “This is truly one of the great rodeos.”
The proof is in the list of reigning champions who are expected to defend their titles during the four days of competition. That group includes 19-time world champion Trevor Brazile, who earned three Pecos buckles last year by winning team roping (with Patrick Smith), tie-down roping and the all-around championships. In all, Brazile pocketed more than $11,000.
Smith, a two-time world champion who is roping this year with header Kaleb Driggers, realized the West Texas victory was great timing. It enabled Smith a chance to compete at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the 10th time.
“I’ve been a winner and I’ve been a loser, and I sure like winning better,” Smith said.
Six others left Pecos last June with titles: bareback rider Taylor Price, steer roper Troy Tillard, saddle bronc rider Cody Wright, steer wrestler Ben Schofner, barrel racer Stacey Grimes and bull rider Elliot Jacoby.
Wright, a two-time world champion, matched moves with Carr’s Deuces Wild for 88 points to win the title. It was the second of three times Wright and Deuces Wild had been matched together, and the champ owns two event titles on the horse, winning in Bay City, Texas, earlier this spring.
“I had that horse in Lovington (N.M); I thought he was just so-so, but I might not have rode him good,” Wright said. “I tried to ride him as good as I could, and he wound up being awesome.”
Yes, it did. In fact, it was one of several awesome performances inside Buck Jackson Arena. In the opening performance, young-gun Taylor Price posted an 88-point ride on Carr’s Dirty Jacket, a 10-year-old bay gelding that finished as the 2013 Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse. The ride held up for a big win for the young Texan.
“That was the best bucking horse I’ve ever been on in my life,” Price said. “That’s the horse you don’t want to screw up on because so many people won on him. You don’t want to be the guy that messed up that horse.”
Jacoby posted the highest of a high-scoring rodeo, posting 91 points on Carr’s Hustler to win the title and nearly $4,600. Jacoby used it to qualify for the NFR for the first time.
Big scores and fast times are what fans have come to expect in Pecos.