FORT WORTH, Texas – When circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic threatened the Permit Holder of the Year Challenge, Texas livestock producer Pete Carr stepped in.
“The Permit Holder Challenge was always part of the bucking stock sale during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas,” said Carr, owner of Dallas-based Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. “Since the sale was canceled this year, the things that went along were subject to that same cancelation. I had a number of families contact me, so I decided we may as well put on the challenge ourselves.”
This year’s Pro Rodeo Permit Holder Champions Challenge will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, at Cowtown Coliseum in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. It will feature the top five contestants in the permit holder standings in seven disciplines: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping (heading and heeling), saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and bull riding.
The crew from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo will be involved in the production of the event to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible. In addition, rodeo clown Justin Rumford and sound director Josh “Hambone” Hilton will donate their time to assist in the showcase that allows the top upcoming talent in ProRodeo to compete for the championships.
“I’ve already ordered the buckles for all the champions from Montana Silversmiths, and we’re excited to have some big sponsors be part of this event like Resistol and CINCH,” Carr said. “These kids have worked hard all year to earn a spot to compete in this challenge, and I think it’s important we honor them.
“It’s not their faults that COVID has infected this season, and they should have something special to remember this year by. We’re doing this because we think it’s going to be great for the kids.”
The permit holders challenge was instituted in 2009 and featured the top contestants in bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding. Five years later, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping were added to the mix. Jesse Pope, a first-time NFR qualifier from Waverly, Kansas, won the 2018 permit challenge title in bareback riding, so it serves as a true proving ground for the sport’s rising stars.