CROSSETT, Ark. – The Crossett Riding Club PRCA Rodeo is one of the hottest Pro Rodeo’s in the country, and it has nothing to do with the temperature.
Sure, southern Arkansas has its fair share of steamy nights, but the first full week of August will showcase on a different type of heat during the annual rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5-Saturday, Aug. 8, at Cap Gates Arena in Crossett.
“I think we’ve been doing a good job of trying to make our rodeo better,” said Bill Stephens, a longtime member of the volunteer committee that organizes the rodeo. “We’ve been trying to add more money each year.
“Of course, with Pete Carr, you can’t do any better as far as stock in my book. Having that kind of stock helps us in getting the top-name cowboys.”
In fact, the Crossett committee has been recognized as one of the best rodeos in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association for events its size. That says quite a bit about the locals that work so hard to make the rodeo successful.
“There are three things that stand out to me on why that rodeo’s so great,” said Scott Grover, now in his seventh year calling the action. “There is a very hard-working committee that’s not afraid to change and that always wants to do something every year to make the rodeo better, whether it’s hiring the best acts or adding more money. They take this rodeo very seriously and the nomination very seriously.
“The committee is striving to win the rodeo of the year title, and having Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo is a big reason to that. Pete Carr is one of the premier stock contractors in the PRCA, and he always brings great stock. The third thing is that they care about hospitality, which is very important. The churches get involved and feed everyone at least twice a day.”
Carr has been honored as one of the top five stock contractors in the PRCA each of the past two years. He also has had more animals selected to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo over that same stretch; 27 Carr animals have been chosen to perform at ProRodeo’s grand finale in each the 2013-14 seasons, a record for bucking horses and bulls from one contractor.
“He just has a professional crew to go along with the top stock,” said Stephens, who in 2014 was named the John Justin Committeeperson of the Year. “Everybody from his crew that’s been to our rodeo takes a lot of pride in what they do. To me, he has one of the best crews at rodeo you can go to.”
Carr, too, takes great pride in being part of such a top-flight event.
“Crossett is an outstanding rodeo, and we are excited to be part of it,” Carr said. “The fact that the rodeo has been nominated shows how much work they put into it.”
A core group of 15 works year-round to make sure the rodeo is a true showcase for fans.
“There is a lot of tradition for our rodeo in our community,” Stephens said. “We take a lot of pride in that.”