Bronc busters love what Big Tex offers

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George Gillespie of Elgin, Ore., rides Big Tex for 90 points during the 2010 Crossett, Ark., rodeo. Big Tex was the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year and has been a saddle bronc every year since. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)
George Gillespie of Elgin, Ore., rides Big Tex for 91 points during the 2010 Crossett, Ark., rodeo. Big Tex was the 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year and has been a saddle bronc every year since. (ROBBY FREEMAN PHOTO)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – One way to describe Big Tex is a 13-year-old bay gelding that was sired by the great stallion Night Jacket.

The best saddle bronc riders in ProRodeo have a few more things to say, and even more would like the opportunity to get on the great Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo bucking horse at the Navajo Nation Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo, set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5, at Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena (because Window Rock is on the Navajo Nation, the kickoff each night will be during Mountain Standard Time, which is not the same as Arizona, which does not recognize Daylight Savings time).

Tyler Corrington
Tyler Corrington

“He’s always been a great bucking horse,” said Tyler Corrington, a 2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Hastings, Minn. “He’s one of the few bareback horses I knew before he became a bronc, because he was just so outstanding. He’s done nothing but be awesome.”

Corrington knows as well as anyone in the game. He matched moves with Big Tex for 85 points in February to win the title in San Antonio. He knows Big Tex is just one fine example of great livestock from Pete Carr’s Classic and Carr Pro Rodeo, the primary producers of the Window Rock rodeo.

“I knew ahead of time that I’d drawn pretty good, but it’s a pretty good sign when you’re sitting in the hospitality area and all your buddies are jealous of you because of what you’ve drawn,” he said.

Curtis Garton
Curtis Garton

That was definitely the case a little more than a month later when Australian Curtis Garton was matched against the big bay during the final round of the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. With the help of Big Tex, Garton won ProRodeo’s national championship with an 86-point ride.

“That’s the one,” Garton said. “Coming into this rodeo, they asked me what my dream draw was, and I didn’t have to think about that: Big Tex. I just thank the Lord that it all worked out.”

It did, but that’s been the case with many of the sport’s elite bronc busters. In 2010, the top cowboys in the sport voted Big Tex the Bareback Horse of the Year; in 208, he was the Reserve World Champion Bareback Horse. That year, he guided and Tilden Hooper tied the world record with a 94-point ride in Silver City, N.M. As a bareback, he bucked at the NFR four straight times, from 2007-10; he’s been in bronc riding in Las Vegas the last two Decembers.

Wade Sundell
Wade Sundell

It’s where the best in the business say he belongs. Take Wade Sundell, a four-time NFR qualifier from Boxholm, Iowa, who has finished among the top five in saddle bronc riding each of the past four seasons. He rode Big Tex for 90 points to win RodeoHouston’s Super Series this past March.

“That’s one of the coolest horses to have for $50,000,” Sundell said. “He’s just so big, and he’s showy.”

The superlatives continue for Big Tex. At 13, he’s in the prime of his life and loves to show off his champion genetics

“I’ll take that horse anywhere I’m at,” Sundell said. “When you get on that horse, you’re nodding your head to win first. He kicks lights out, and he bails in the air. He’s got some hang time, and that allows you really set your feet and show off your spur stroke. He’s everything you’d want in a bucking horse.”


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