WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – The Navajo Nation Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo is one of the greatest spectacles in the sport.
It’s part of Cowboy Christmas, an annual showcase of lucrative rodeos set around the July 4 holiday. More importantly, it features the greatest athletes in the game, from world champion cowboys and cowgirls to some of the most impressive bucking animals from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo.
The rodeo is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, July 2-Saturday, July 4, at Dean C. Jackson Memorial Arena (because Window Rock is on the Navajo Nation, the kickoff each night will be during Mountain Standard Time; it is not the same as Arizona, which does not recognize Daylight Savings time).
“I think the thing that makes our rodeo so great is our stock contractor,” said Wanda Nelson, spokeswoman for the Navajo Nation Fair, which produces the annual rodeo. “The last few years, that has been a big thing for us. The contractor and the contestants: we’ve actually had the NFR here in the (Navajo) Nation.”
In addition to numerous world champions that are part of the field, the Window Rock rodeo also will feature world champion bucking animals like Dirty Jacket, the reigning PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year, and two other world champion equine athletes in Big Tex and Real Deal. That’s the type of power Pete Carr Pro Rodeo has in the Navajo Nation.
The key is producing an event that is talked about around the Navajo Nation, which has been the case since the Carr team has been part of the Fourth of July event. This year’s event will include announcer Andy Stewart, a nominee for PRCA Announcer of the Year who is in his fifth year in Window Rock, and funnyman Troy Lerwill, one of the most decorated entertainers in ProRodeo.
Another keen aspect to the three-day rodeo will be the Pete Carr Pro Rodeo bucking stock, another attractive feature for rodeo’s greatest stars. Each of the past two seasons, 27 Carr animals have been selected to buck at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“Overall, he’s just got the top-rated stock,” Nelson said of Carr. “His personality is a great fit for us, and so is his love for rodeo. He’s been really good to us and has worked really well with us.”
The work is putting on the best rodeo possible for the greatest fans in the game. That’s what the Navajo Nation has come to expect with the annual Fourth of July PRCA Rodeo.