HEMPSTEAD, Texas – The Texas stars are big and bright, and they’re going to shine during Hempstead’s rodeo.
Many of the top ProRodeo athletes are expected to be part of the lineup at this year’s Waller County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2-Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead.
Those stars will be made up of world champions and other elite cowboys and cowgirls in the sport. They’ll share the arena with some of rodeo’s greatest animal athletes from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, which has been recognized as one of the greatest livestock firms in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“Pete Carr has the greatest string of bucking horses and bulls in all of rodeo,” said Clint Sciba, president of the Waller County Fair Board. “He’s been nominated as stock contractor of the year in the PRCA each of the last two years, and there’s a good reason for that. He brings the best animals to our rodeo and puts on a great production.
“When we made the decision to be a ProRodeo, we knew he was the stock contractor we wanted to put on our rodeo. Now our fans know they will see something great each of the three nights of our rodeo. That’s great for everyone involved.”
Carr pulls out all the stops when it comes to making a fantastic production. The Waller County rodeo will feature several nominees for 2014 PRCA end-of-the-year awards: Cody Sosebee, up for Clown of the Year; Sandy Gwatney, up for Secretary of the Year; and Andy Stewart, one of five finalists for Announcer of the Year.
On top of that, Carr has a fantastic herd of bucking animals. Last year, 27 Carr animals were selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s year-end championship. Only the top 300 animals in the PRCA are selected on a vote by the top contestants in each of the three roughstock events: bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
“The reason Pete’s rodeos are so tough is because he has so many great horses,” said Richmond Champion, a 2014 NFR qualifier and bareback riding winner at RFD-TV’s The American. “Any rodeo you go to, you know you have a chance to win on anything he’s got. That makes it exciting for us.”
Champion knows very well. This year alone, he has eight rodeo victories, two of which came on the backs of Carr animals. He won Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days on Fancy Free in May, then followed that with the championship at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days on Dirty Jacket, a horse that has been selected as one of the top three bareback horses in the world each of the past two seasons.
“Pete has our interests in line,” Champion said of Carr. “He wants us to have good horses to get on. He’s put in a lot of time to get good horses together, and he has a lot. He has horses that are consistent. He’s one of the guys that have the top animals and hauls them all over the country to give us a chance to win.”
Champion, 21, is a bright young gun in the world of rodeo. He has been among the top 10 in the world standings much of the season and set the sport on fire this past March when he earned $1.1 million at The American. He will be part of the inaugural 8 Second Bareback Shootout, a head-to-head match with veteran Clint Cannon, a four-time NFR qualifier from Waller, Texas.
It’s just another powerful statement as to the star-studded draw that is the Waller County Fair and Rodeo. The top contestants know what to expect when they arrive in Hempstead.
“Pete has put together a good set of bulls,” said J.W. Harris, the four-time and reigning bull riding world champion from Mullin, Texas. “I think he wants to show that he’s got great bulls to go with his great horses.
“You know when you go to his rodeos you’re going to get on a good one. I like going to Pete’s rodeos because he’s got good people who work for him, but having all those good animals sure makes it easier for us to go to. Pete Carr’s come a long ways in just a few years.”