PECOS, Texas – The Western roots of this west Texas community run deep, and the legacy they hold firmly in the drying soil is magnificent.
The volunteers that produce the annual West of the Pecos Rodeo know that better than anybody, and they work hard through the year to showcase it. It will happen again this year with four performances set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 27-Saturday, June 23, at Buck Jackson Arena.
“Our rodeo is celebrating its 136th anniversary this year,” said Brenda McKinney, a longtime member of the committee. “It’s amazing for Pecos, for Reeves County and for the region to be able to have an event that has the history that West of the Pecos has. It’s very humbling to be part of it.”
The World’s First Rodeo is a magical experience, and the committee has been recognized as one of the best in the business. It has been nominated for Large Outdoor Rodeo Committee in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and members are honored by the recognition.
“Just talking about it gives me chill bumps,” she said. “It’s such an honor to be nominated and to be up against all those other great rodeos that are on the list. We are so proud of what we do, but for the cowboys to have nominated us really means the world to me and the rest of the committee.
“I feel like we’re nominated in that group of rodeos because of Pete Carr, his crew and his stock. He helps us get those top-name contestants. Without great stock, the cowboys wouldn’t be able to win what they win here. We are forever grateful to Pete for all he has done for our rodeo.”
The Carr team has been a strong piece of the Pecos community each June for more than a decade. Pete Carr Pro Rodeo is the largest livestock producer in ProRodeo and has received five nominations for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year. Over the last five yars, he firm also has had more animals selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo than any other producer.
“We have a fabulous relationship with Pete Carr,” McKinney said. “He and his crew are just professional. They make that part of our rodeo so easy for us. They’re so accommodating.
“To work with somebody that’s the caliber of Pete Carr is an honor, and we’re glad he is part of our production.”
That’s an important facet of the rodeo. With such a big variety of events, the Carr team interlaces everything together quite well, giving the fans, sponsors and contestants the best experience possible. This year, rodeo clown and entertainer Cody Sosebee will be a big part of that. He has been nominated for Clown of the Year and Comedy Act of the year, and last year he worked the NFR as the barrelman.
And now he joins all the others in the most historic event in the sport.
“It’s such a huge honor for me to be part of it,” McKinney said. “We’re all just volunteers that want to put on the best production and the best event we can because we’re so proud of what we have.”
They should be proud. Not only does the West of the Pecos Rodeo have a great history, but it’s got an outstanding future, too.
“Because of our tradition, fans can expect a rodeo that’s got the top athletes, both cowboys and cowgirls,” she said. “They can expect to see the best of the best, and we work our tails off all year long to make sure we put on the best for our spectators.”