LOVINGTON, N.M. – Fans that make their way to this southeastern New Mexico community have come to expect great things with the Lea County Fair and Rodeo.
Those fans are knowledgeable and understand exactly what a great rodeo looks like. More importantly they see it every August when the sport’s brightest stars are part of the brilliant competition and family-friendly entertainment. This year’s marquee event is for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10-Saturday, Aug. 13, at Jake McClure Arena in Lovington.
With the inclusion of the Lea County Xtreme Bulls on Tuesday, Aug. 9, there are five nights of world-class action inside the Lea County Fairgrounds. Much of that has to do with a strong community effort teamed with the team from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, the livestock producer that has been part of the event for the past decade.
“I almost feel like with the Lovington ProRodeo that it’s like being associated with a celebrity,” said Kenyon Burns, chairman of the Lea County Fair Board’s rodeo committee. “We’ve got the best of the business at our rodeo. You’re going to get the pick of the litter to come to your rodeo. Lovington has developed that name.
“To have that behind you makes you proud. I’m from Lovington, N.M., and we have one of the best rodeos in the country. A lot of what makes our rodeo so great is Pete Carr and his team.”
The Carr firm has been recognized as one of the best in the sport, a regular nominee for Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Stock Contractor of the Year. Over the last three years, no other stock contractor has had more animals selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo than Carr.
Atop the list of those is Dirty Jacket, a 12-year-old bay gelding that has been named the Bareback Horse of the Year each of the past two seasons. The powerful and electric horse also has been voted as one of the top three horses for four years straight. But he’s just one of dozens of great animal athletes that will be in Lovington for the exposition.
That type of talent will be matched with the top cowboys in the game. Burns, a longtime PRCA contestant with two qualifications to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, understands the importance of great animal athletes and top-notch production to keep rodeo fans excited.
“The biggest thing with Pete Carr is the professionalism he and his staff bring to our rodeo,” Burns said. “I’ve watched his productions, and I’ve been to a few of his rodeos. He makes sure everything stays at a fast pace. He makes sure we don’t see any downtime. He has all the guys that are shining like a diamond, and they’re putting on a show.
“This guy is putting on a show, one you’d go to a theater to see. It’s a rodeo musical. Fans around here want to see an exciting show, and Pete makes sure they do.”