HEMPSTEAD, Texas – The rodeo committee that organizes the annual event during the Waller County Fair and Rodeo keeps its focus simple: Continue to improve.
That mindset works for everyone involved, from those who work behind the scenes to the cowboys that are in the middle of the competition to the fans who want to see a good show. It all comes together from Thursday, Oct. 1-Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead.
“We have increased our purse every year,” said Paul Shollar, co-chairman of the Waller County Fair Board’s rodeo committee. “We do that because this is rodeo country, and we know the people who come to our fair and rodeo want to see the greatest cowboys in the world in Hempstead.”
The quality of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo is virtually unmatched in this region of Texas. In fact, it’s downright comparable to any of the large rodeos that are across North America.
“From our stock contractor to hospitality, we really want every cowboy and cowgirl who comes to our fair and rodeo to see this rodeo as one of the best in the country,” said Chad Kersh, a member of the rodeo committee.
To that end, the rodeo committee has enlisted the help of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, the largest stock contracting firm in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Each of the past two seasons, no other contractor has had more animals selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He’s been the stock contractor in Hempstead since the rodeo transitioned to the PRCA a few years ago.
“What we love about Pete Carr is that he has the kind of stock that attracts world champions and regular NFR qualifiers,” said Clint Sciba, the fair board’s president and co-chairman of the rodeo committee. “There’s a reason that Pete has been nominated for stock contractor of the year for the third year. He should’ve won it already. He’s been the best stock contractor in rodeo for a long time.”
Just look at the reigning champion in Hempstead as proof to the elite contestants that come to town every fall. Most of the 2014 winners have been to the NFR, including bareback rider Clint Cannon of Waller, Texas, who won his hometown rodeo for the first time in his career after scoring 87 points on Carr’s Night Bells.
Steer wrestler Darrell Petry, tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa and heeler Kinney Harrell have all played on the biggest stages of the game. But so have the animal athletes that guided the champions to victory in the roughstock events. Night Bells has been to the NFR six times, while Line Man has been recognized as one of the top bulls; he guided Casey Huckabee to the bull riding title with a 90-point ride.
Jacobs Crawley won the saddle bronc riding championship on Carr’s Icycle, a horse that is showing great promise.
“We want our fans to know that year in and year out, we’re going to work hard to put on a great rodeo,” Shollar said. “They deserve it.”