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RODEO: Carr brings show to Big Spring

Jun. 10—BIG SPRING — It's been three decades since Pete Carr hung up his spurs and established himself as a businessman.

As a youngster growing up in Dallas, he developed a passion for rodeo and life as a cowboy. He eventually traveled the country as a bareback rider, chasing his dreams while riding bucking horses across the country. In 1993, he developed a commercial construction business in his hometown, but he always found a way back to the sport he loved.

He started dabbling in the game again, this time buying bucking animals. He went into business with other livestock producers, then jumped head first into the stock-contracting game in 2005. His first rodeo? The Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo, which this year takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20-Saturday, June 22, at the Rodeo Bowl.

"We were Pete's first rodeo a long time ago," said Dane Driver, vice president of the volunteer committee that produces the annual event. "With him comes professionalism and quality stock. The caliber of his personnel — whether it's the chute boss or the timers or secretary or pickup men or even the guys in the back — it's all top notch.

"If you want your rodeo to be run and be a spectator event, it's got to flow like a well-oiled machine, and that doesn't happen by itself. That happens because of everybody that Pete brings with him to produce our rodeo."

This year marks the 20th Big Spring rodeo Carr and his team will produce. Over the last 10 years, no other livestock producer in ProRodeo has had more animals selected to perform at the National Finals Rodeo. What started as a pipe dream has turned into something magical, but it's come from Carr's work ethic and ability to hire the right people for the job.

He's been recognized as one of the top producers in the PRCA with 14 straight nominations for Stock Contractor of the Year. Closer to home, Carr was just inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame two months ago alongside one of his great bucking animals, Dirty Jacket, a 20-year-old bay gelding that was twice named the PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year.

He's had three other world champion bucking horses: Real Deal in 2005, Big Tex in 2010 and Deuces Night in 2012. A season ago, Carr's Bayou Bengal was named the PRCA Bull of the Year. He's had more than 300 animals selected to buck at the NFR over the last two decades, but that's not all that happens in the arena. The Carr crew understands the importance great production to orchestrate a quality rodeo.

"One thing I love about Pete is that he cares," said Anthony Lucia, the 2023 PRCA Announcer of the Year who also calls the action in Big Spring. "We all care and we're all working toward the same goals, but for Pete, it's not just about his bucking horses and bucking bulls and making sure they buck. He has people in place to make sure he has the best stock, but then he trusts all of us to do our jobs.

"At the heart of it all, it's a show. It's not just a rodeo. It's a piece of entertainment, and Pete's No. 1 goal is to make sure the fans and the competitors have the absolute best time."

That's the part of the package that can't be duplicated. It's the primary reason the volunteer committee has had Carr as its rodeo producer the last 20 years. Fans want to be entertained, and contestants want a chance to win money in Big Spring. The Carr team, working closely with the local committee, makes that happen.

"It's so neat and fun for me when I get to work with guys like that, because Pete trusts me to do my job," Lucia said. "He also builds confidence in those around him. It's a great situation for us to be in as we put on this rodeo."