LOVINGTON, N.M. – There are a number of reasons the top cowboys and cowgirls in rodeo converge on this southeastern New Mexico community every August.
There’s big money up for grabs, the hospitality is well-know, and the crew from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo has amazing animals and puts on a whale of a production. It’s all on display at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9-Saturday, Aug. 12, at Jake McClure Arena; that also includes Lea County Xtreme Bulls, which is Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“I don’t think any other stock contractor could be any better,” said Trey Kerby, the rodeo committee chairman for the Lea County Fair Board. “Pete is very sharp and knows what he’s doing. Those guys put on an excellent show.”
That’s another key to a wonderful rodeo. In recent years, Lovington’s rodeo has been recognized as one of the very best in the country. It has received multiple nominations for Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
That list regularly includes events in Cheyenne, Wyo.; Pendleton, Ore.; Reno, Nev.; and Dodge City, Kan. While all of those are well-known rodeos across the country, every contestant understands that the Lea County Fair and Rodeo is a marquee event for them every year.
The Carr team is a big reason why.
“Everybody on Pete’s staff does an amazing job,” Kerby said. “John and Sandy Gwatney are great people, and they’re involved in producing a first-class show with the rest of the crew.
“When Pete and his crew gets to town, I can relax. They’re so good at what they do, and they take their jobs seriously. They work very hard at it.”
Over the last four years, no other PRCA stock contractor has had more bucking animals selected to perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Most of those will be part of the mix in Lovington, including two-time Bareback Horse of the Year Dirty Jacket. He’s carried cowboys to the winner’s circle numerous times over the last eight years.
But Carr has a whole herd of world-class bucking animals, and that’s an attractive feature for the cowboys that ride them for a living.
“You count the Carr animals at the NFR, and you can tell he’s got a bunch of great ones,” Kerby said. “He takes great pride in the animals, and it shows in the arena. They’re always in great shape when they get here, and I’d say most of the NFR animals every year have bucked in Lovington.”
ProRodeo’s grand championship takes place every December in Las Vegas, but fans don’t have to venture too far from home if they want to see world-class cowboys, cowgirls and animal athletes at work. That’s what makes Lovington’s rodeo so great.
Courtesy of twisTEDrodeo.com