DALLAS – Dirty Jacket is one of the most decorated bucking horses in rodeo.
This year, his accolades got a little brighter.
The 10-year-old bay gelding from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo has been voted as the 2014 Bareback Horse of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The award is based on a vote of the top bareback riders in the sport, and this is the third time Dirty Jacket has been named one of the top horses in the game – he was the Runner-Up Reserve World Champion Bareback horse in 2012, then finished as the Reserve World Champion in 2013.
“I’m not surprised that he won it,” said Steven Dent, a nine-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Mullen, Neb. “That is a really great horse. There are not very many of them like him that do it every time, that are that electric, jump that high in the air and that you can be that many points on.”
Dent knows that feeling very well. On Saturday, Sept. 27, the Nebraskan rodeo Dirty Jacket for 91 points to win the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo in Stephenville, Texas. Dent was on the bubble to qualify for the NFR and needed solid paychecks over that final weekend of the PRCA season to ensure he will be riding for his share of the biggest purse of the year in Las Vegas.
“Any time you can draw one that everybody wants, you’re happy with it whether you’re in that situation or it’s a regular-season rodeo,” he said. “You don’t have the opportunity to get on a horse that you can be that many points on and that’s that fun to get on very often in your life, much less the last week of the year when you’re trying to make the NFR.”
This marks another step up for Dirty Jacket, who will buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the sixth straight year this coming December. He joins four other Carr horses that have earned the Bareback of the Year honor: Real Deal, Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night.
“I’ve been on big horses that look big and feel big,” said Richmond Champion, a first-time NFR qualifier who rode Dirty Jacket for 91 points to win the championship at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days. “He has a huge frame, but he’s so athletic from nose to tail. He just looks like an athlete. If you could pick a horse out of a herd that could jump nine feet in the air, he’s that horse.
“If you’re going to win a big rodeo, that’s the horse you want.”
Dirty Jacket was sired by the great Night Jacket, one of the most storied stallions in the game. Both Big Tex and MGM Deuces Night sired by the stallion.
But Dirty Jacket wasn’t the only Carr superstar to earn end-of-the-year honors. He is joined by Poker Face, which is the 2014 Runner-Up Reserve World Champion bull. The 7-year-old white bull with black spots has yet to be ridden.
“The reason he’s unridden because he’s bucking from the time the gate opens until he bucks you off,” said Cody Whitney, a retired bull rider who serves as a an adviser for Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “He gives 100 percent from the time he starts until you hit the ground.”
Those are the animals cowboys love, which is why those Carr animals were honored in 2014.