There’s a lot of cowboy among the 910 square miles that make up Parker County.
It’s about to get a little more western with the Parker County Frontier Days and PRCA Rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 through Saturday, June 15, at the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse Arena. This is Cowboy Country, and hundreds of the top athletes in rodeo will converge on Weatherford for the four-day event.
There are 552 contestants who are scheduled to compete representing dozens of ProRodeo world championships and hundreds of Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications. These are the elite cowboys and cowgirls in the sport, and they’ll be matched with the award-winning livestock of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo and Carr Pro Rodeo, the producers of the annual event.
“It’s in the heart of Cowboy Country,” said announcer Andy Stewart, now in his eighth year of calling the action in Weatherford. “You have got to bring your a game, because they’re rodeo savvy there.”
The Carr crew will do that. The two firms are established and have been recognized for years as the elite among livestock producers. This spring, Carr put everything together by purchasing Classic.
“I’m combining two of the best crews in rodeo to form one of the greatest rodeo companies,” said Pete Carr, the owner of the outfits. “I’m excited about the new opportunities that are ahead for the company. I want committees to know we have a lot to offer them. We’re going to have unprecedented resources for all the rodeos, which will benefit everyone involved: committees, sponsors, contestants and spectators.”
In 2013, the firms will produce 34 rodeos in 13 states and have some of the greatest animal athletes in the sport. That’s a big reason so many top names plan to make their way to Parker County in mid-June.
“Pete’s got a heck of a string put together,” said saddle bronc rider Wade Sundell, a four-time NFR qualifier from Boxholm, Iowa. “There are not a lot of people that can match him anymore.”
Sundell has done awfully well on Carr animals this year. He won the rodeo in Claremore, Okla., by matching moves with Carr Pro Rodeo’s Social Call for 83 points over Memorial Day weekend. In early May, he placed second in Guymon, Okla., after an 85 on Carr Pro Rodeo Miss Congeniality; still, his biggest win of the season came when he won the $50,000 round at RodeoHouston on Pete Carr’s Classic’s Big Tex after a 90-point ride.
“It’s awesome when you have a good horse underneath you, because you know something good is going to happen,” he said.
But the animal is just half the equation; it takes a solid performance by the man on the beast to make for a winning score. That’s what fans will experience in Weatherford.
“It draws top-name players from all over the country,” Stewart said. “We have four performances that are just outstanding.”