LAS VEGAS – If everything goes right, saddle bronc riders will tell you, a good ride will feel like sitting in a rocking chair.
Confident. Controlled. Back and forth.
For the cowboys competing at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, they’ll have their fair share of opportunities to sit in that rocking chair. But they’ll also try to stay in the saddle with the nastiest bucking beasts in the business over the 10 rugged days of the NFR, set for Dec. 2-11 at the Thomas & Mack Center. It’s a showcase for the top 15 guys who have earned the right to play for the biggest pay in rodeo.
“The nice thing about the NFR is that these guys will have a chance to get on about every kind of bronc out there, and they’ll all be great,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo, one of the premier stock contractors in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. “They’ll definitely be tested.”
The animals that are part of the championship event were selected by the bronc busters themselves. For Carr Pro Rodeo, three outstanding horses will be in the mix: Air Miles, Miss Congeniality and True Lies.
“I’ll take any of them, I promise,” said Cort Scheer, the seventh ranked bronc rider heading into the NFR. “If you draw any of them horses, you’ve got a chance to win. Look at the pedigree behind them, the money that’s won on all of them.
“Typically you go to places, and there will one or two horses you can win on, but that’s not the case at any of Pete Carr’s rodeos. It comes down to who makes the best spur ride is going to win. That’s what you want every time.”
True Lies and Miss Congeniality will be making their NFR debuts, while Air Miles has been selected three times – she’s been in both bareback riding and bronc riding.
“She bucks really hard and has a lot of moves,” Carr said of Air Miles, a 12-year-old sorrel mare. “She can be a little hard to twist.”
Carr purchased Miss Congeniality, an 8-year-old bay mare, from a Canadian firm after the horse had been stellar in the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, where it was named the horse of the Canadian Finals Rodeo and led cowboys to the winner’s circle in three of the four go-rounds she bucked there. True Lies was purchased at a horse sale this past January.
“He is just getting settled in at the ranch, so it will be interesting to see how he handles Vegas this year,” Carr said of the 8-year-old bay gelding.
The bronc riders are expecting great things, but that’s nothing new when they consider the Carr Pro Rodeo livestock.
“You can go down the list of any horse Pete has, and you’re going to look at the kinds of horses you want to get on every time,” said Taos Muncy, the 2007 world champion who goes into this year’s finale No. 4 in the world standings. “You look forward to going to his rodeos, because he will have NFR horses in every performance.”