PECOS, Texas – While this community came to grips with the global pandemic, the organizers of the West of the Pecos Rodeo debated about what to do with its 2020 event.
Each step of the way, the volunteers sought advice from people they trusted. With more than a century of history, the committee knows how important the rodeo is not only to Pecos but also much of west Texas.
“Along the way, we knew we had Pete Carr’s support,” longtime committee member Brenda McKinney said of the owner of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “He really understood what we were going through. When we realized we couldn’t do it on our typical dates at the end of June, he helped us look at different dates.
“We kept in touch with Pete for several months to see if we could pull off the rodeo. He was very positive, but he understood that we needed to make the decision for our community. He said, ‘I respect that and will do whatever you guys want.’ ”
That’s the type of partnership the community organizers want when it comes to the primary collaboration of a successful annual event. Pecos and the Carr brand have been teamed together for nearly two decades, and the proof what happens during the rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 23-Saturday, June 26.
Over that time, fans have packed Buck Jackson Arena to see some incredible action. Of the PRCA records that have happened in Pecos, nearly all have come during the Carr team’s time in Reeves County. From Ryan Gray’s 92-point bareback ride on Dirty Jacket to Scottie Knapp’s 93-point bull ride on Half Nuts to the six bronc riders who all have matching 88s, all the top scores in the event’s history have come on Carr bucking animals.
“It gets really hot here this time of year, but that never seems to affect the animals that Pete and his crew bring,” McKinney said. “The animals seem to thrive in this weather. They buck their best. The cattle run good. As hot as it is, you think you’d see it in those animals’ performances, but you never do.”
There’s so much involved in making a rodeo of this magnitude happen. The ropers and bulldoggers want the best cattle available, and the barrel racers want to run on the best ground. That’s where the teamwork between contractor and committee comes into play. Carr and his crew of rodeo professionals know what it takes to make sure all entities are as happy as possible.
That’s not as easy as it sounds, either, because the contestants are just part of the mix. The biggest contingent involves the sponsors and the fans that come out for a night of entertainment and high-flying rodeo action.
“Working with Pete Carr and his crew is probably one of the greatest experiences we’ve had as far as dealing with such a professional group of individuals,” McKinney said. “They are like family to us now. We know they care about how the rodeo goes off. Their hearts are into the success of our rodeo, just like our hearts are in it.
“Pete Carr and his group have such a special place in our hearts, because they help us step up our rodeo a lot. We can’t thank them enough.”