LOVINGTON, N.M. – Fans in Lea County know what it takes to make a good rodeo.
They’re used to seeing it every year at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5-Saturday, Aug. 8, at Jake McClure Arena. Throw in the Lea County Xtreme Bulls at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, and it’s five nights of world-class rodeo action.
The volunteer committee works hard to make sure fans see the greatest show possible, and that includes the production and animal athletes from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, the primary livestock producer in Lovington.
“When we decided on the Xtreme Bulls, we did so while working with Pete Carr to make sure it was what our fans would expect and appreciate,” said Greg Massey, chairman of the rodeo committee. “Like any typical Pete Carr event, he goes above and beyond what he promises to deliver. He’s particular about the kind of show he puts on. He wants it to be the absolute best it can be. He’ll go wherever he needs to go to get the kind of stock he needs for our event.
“I don’t think other contractors take the personal interest in the event like Pete does … not only Pete but his personnel. They are very concerned that the committee is happy and they’re doing what we want them to do.”
The Carr firm includes many of the top animals in the game, including Dirty Jacket, the reigning Bareback Horse of the Year that has finished among the top three in voting each of the past three seasons. Over the past two years, 27 Carr animals have been selected to buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand finale.
“Pete Carr has the bucking horses and bulls that are unreal,” said bareback rider Clint Cannon, a four-time NFR qualifier from Waller, Texas. “When I think about Pete Carr, I think about 90-point rides, rock ’n’ roll music and fans loving it.”
But there’s more to the rodeo than bucking stock. It takes a professional production to showcase an award-winning event like the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in a timely fashion so that fairgoers have the opportunity to enjoy other aspects of the exposition.
“We try to have the theatrical portion of our show not interfere with the competition side,” said John Gwatney, a production supervisor for the Dallas-based livestock firm. “We try to run a good, fast, clean performance without interfering with the competition.
“That’s where we’re different from other rodeo companies. If we’re not ready, the cowboy has to wait. When it comes time for that cowboy to compete, we’ve done everything we can to make that animal ready for that cowboy, so all he has to do is nod his head.”
When mixed with great contestants, a knowledgeable fan base in Lea County and a strong connection with the fair board and rodeo committee, it makes for an incredible experience for everyone involved.
“Pete Carr puts on a great rodeo,” said Sage Kimzey, the reigning world champion bull rider. “I’m thankful he loves the sport of rodeo so much and wants it to be so great.”
It shows in the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.