SILVERTON, Texas – Sometimes one athlete can find a special connection with another.
In rodeo, it happens all the time. It’s quite obvious that ropers, steer wrestlers and barrel racers have a strong relationship with the mounts that carry them down the rodeo trail. But the same can be said in the world of roughstock, where cowboys and the bulls and horses that try to buck them off can gather a rhythm and a style.
Take Cody Taton and Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality. That combination was worth 87 points last August during Silverton’s Buck Wild Days Rodeo to win saddle bronc riding. But it wasn’t the first time the two Wrangler National Finals Rodeo-qualifying athletes worked together for something magical.
“Miss Congeniality has been to the Canadian finals, too,” said Taton, the 2008 NFR average winner from Corona, N.M. “Winning Silverton was good. I just needed a rodeo for my circuit, and it was co-approved with the Turquose Circuit. But that was a pretty nice horse form Pete’s that I had. I’d been on it once before, and I won Grand Prairie, Alberta on it.
“I’d love to draw that horse at all of Pete’s rodeos.”
Taton is talking about Pete Carr, owner of the Dallas-based livestock firm that produces the annual Silverton rodeo.
“It was a good little rodeo,” Taton said. “The committee worked hard. There were a lot of people there for a little town.”
The size of town doesn’t matter to cowboys who make their living on the rodeo trail. Bronc riders will travel thousands of miles to get on great horses. That’s why the list of contestants in Silverton reads like a who’s who from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
“Pete Carr’s got some great rodeos, and he’s got the good horses,” said Taton, the saddle bronc riding director for the PRCA. “That kind of combination makes quite a difference, plus Pete’s good to work with.”
Carr Pro Rodeo is one of the rising livestock producing outfits in ProRodeo, and a big reason for that is the list of outstanding bucking beasts who wear the Rafter C brand.
“He’s got some of the best horses out there,” said Louie Brunson of Interior, S.D. “He tries hard to get the best stock, tries to make it as good a deal for the cowboys as possible
“Pete’s got an even pen of bucking horses, which means that no matter what horse you draw, you have a chance to win. That’s real important. It keeps it fair. At some rodeos you go to, there’ll be that one top horse, and if you get him drawn, then you’ve got first place. With Pete’s you can win on anything, because everything’s good.”
That’s why horses like Miss Congeniality have been asked to participate in the NFR, where only the top 15 saddle bronc riders compete for the year-end championship.
“I’ll take any of them, I promise,” said Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Neb., a 2010 NFR qualifier. “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.”
Whether it’s in Guymon, Okla., or Big Spring, Texas, or Eagle, Colo., the cowboys find their way to rodeos featuring Carr bucking horses.
“Any bucking horse you know you have a chance to win on is one you want to get on,” said Jesse James Kirby of Dodge City, Kan. “That’s what you have when you go to a Carr rodeo. I think Pete Carr is doing a damn good job of supplying a bunch of really good bucking horses.”