SILVER CITY, N.M. – Many of rodeo's rising stars already have a keen understanding of what it takes to win at the professional level.
For cowboys that ride bucking horses and bulls, it's a combination of self-confidence and the ability to get on the best animals in the game. That's why they trust in the outstanding athletes that are part of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo, a Dallas-based stock contractor who produces more than 30 events a season.
"Anytime Pete Carr has a rodeo, you know the stock's going to be great," said rookie Sage Kimzey, the No. 1 bull rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. "His bull string is one of the best in the business."
That philosophy will come in handy at the Wild, Wild West Pro Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5-Saturday, June 7, at Southwest Horseman's Park.
Kimzey knows a thing or two about great Carr bulls. Over the first weekend in May, the Strong City, Okla., cowboy matched moves with Line Man for 92 points to share the bull riding title at the prestigious Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo.
Line Man was one of 27 Carr animals that was selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and is recognized as one of the top bucking bovines in the sport.
"I had a great bull from Pete Carr, and I knew it was going to be good if I could get him rode for the full eight seconds," said Kimzey, who is well on the way to his first NFR qualification. "Pete has a ton of great bulls, and he puts on a great show, too."
That's what fans have come to expect at events Carr produces. It's what contestants favor, too. Take Richie Champion, a third-year bareback rider from The Woodlands, Texas, who has been ranked among the top 15 cowboys in the world standings for much of the early season. He shared the bareback riding title in Guymon with an 86-point ride on Fancy Free, a bay mare that has bucked at the NFR each of the last nine years.
"That is a tough rodeo, because everybody comes to Guymon," Champion said. "It seems like you can't draw a bad horse. Pete brings the best of the best, and guys try hard to win."
Like many of the sport's top hands, the Texas bronc buster makes sure to be part of the competition at as many Carr rodeos as possible. Last July, he shared the victory in Eagle, Colo., with an 87-point ride on Scarlet's Web. He's made a nice living on a number of other Carr horses so far in his career.
"Pete has our interests in line," Champion said of Carr. "He wants us to have good horses to get on. He's put in a lot of time to get good horses together, and he has a lot. He has horses that are consistent. He's one of the guys that have the top animals and hauls them all over the country to give us a chance to win."
Whenever the Carr team rolls into town, it's a winning combination.