LOVINGTON, N.M. – When the cowboys get to this southeastern New Mexico town of nearly 12,000 to compete at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, they know one thing is certain: the livestock will be outstanding.
That’s because local organizers have enlisted Pete Carr Pro Rodeo to produce the event, and the Carr team is loaded with some of the best animals in ProRodeo. The firm has been nominated as PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year a dozen times, and it is routinely recognized as one of the best livestock producers in the sport.
“Pete Carr and his crew are one of the most important parts of our rodeo,” said Trey Kerby, chairman of the rodeo committee and vice chairman of the Lea County Fair Board. “I don’t think any other stock contractor could be any better. Pete is very sharp and knows what he’s doing. Those guys put on an excellent show.”
This year’s rodeo is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4-Saturday, Aug. 7, at Jake McClure Arena; that also includes Lea County Xtreme Bulls, which is Tuesday, Aug. 3. It’s going to be five straight days of intense rodeo action at that storied coliseum inside the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington.
“When Pete Carr gets to town, I can relax,” Kerby aid. “They’re so good at what they do, and they take their jobs seriously. They work very hard at it.”
Kerby and other fair board members realize how important it is to have a stock contractor of Carr’s caliber. This event has been going on for eight and a half decades, and the people in this region of the country understand what a good rodeo looks like. That’s why Lea County officials lean on Carr and his talented crew of professionals.
Beyond that, there have been dozens of elite bucking animals that have been selected to perform at the National Finals Rodeo over the years, and they always tend to stand out in Lovington.
“You count the Carr animals at the NFR, and you can tell he’s got a bunch of great ones,” Kerby said. “He takes great pride in the animals, and it shows in the arena. They’re always in great shape when they get here, and I’d say most of the NFR animals every year have bucked in Lovington.”
That’s typically the case, and animals like that draw the top players in the game.
“This is a great rodeo,” said Sterling Crawley, a seven-time NFR qualifier from Huntsville, Texas. “The bucking stock is outstanding. When you go to a Pete Carr rodeo, everybody’s got a chance to win.”
Crawley is regularly featured in Lovington, and he’s earned his share of the money while in town. Another Huntsville cowboy, Bill Tutor, has earned the bareback riding title and is always seeking another.
“This is one of my favorite rodeos of the whole year,” said Tutor, a two-time NFR qualifier. “There’s always great horses. It’s a tough rodeo to win, because there are a lot of great competitors as well.”