By Ted Harbin, Wrangler Network contributor
WEST MONROE, La. – For the last four years, West Monroe has been a major focal point of reality television in various capacities.
“Duck Dynasty” was the precursor for other northern Louisiana reality-based programs like “Bayou Billionaire” and the “My Big Redneck Family” franchise. But there’s much more to Ouachita Parish than duck calls, camouflage and Uncle Si.
In fact, world-class rodeo action will hit town with the Stampede at the Ike PRCA Rodeo, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 22-23, at Ike Hamilton Expo Center. It will be a combination of true athletic competition and family-friendly entertainment that makes the event the perfect January event for folks in this region.
“Every year the West Monroe rodeo is one of the first events of the season, and everybody gets excited for it,” said Pete Carr, owner of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, which produces the event. “We focus a lot of energy on making it a successful rodeo for the fans, for the sponsors and for the contestants.”
A big portion of the excitement will come in the Carr bucking stock that will be performing inside the expo center. Carr is a four-time nominee for Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Stock Contractor of the Year. Over the course of the last three seasons, no other stock contractor has had more animals perform at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
That’s an attractive feature for the top players in the game, who are a fixture at Carr events across the country; West Monroe is no different. Last year’s winners include bareback rider Heath Ford, a three-time NFR qualifier from Slocum, Texas, and saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss, a seven-time qualifier from Heflin, La.
Like many elite cowboys, they know they have a solid chance to do well on Pete Carr bucking stock.
“When you go to Pete’s rodeos, you know you’re going to have a shot to win first,” said bareback rider Winn Ratliff, a three-time NFR qualifier from Leesville, La. “You have to do your part and ride good, but if you do your job, you’re going to have the opportunity to win the rodeo.”
The cowboys also know there is an excellent opportunity to be part of a fantastic show.
“Over the last two years, it’s progressively gotten to be a better rodeo,” said Shane Hanchey, the 2013 world champion tie-down roper from Sulphur, La., who won the West Monroe title a year ago. “I was in the last performance there last year, and I was floored by the number of people that came to that rodeo that night.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that is prime rodeo country up there. It was really cool to see everybody there watching us.”
The Stampede at the Ike has become the go-to place for rodeo fans every year.
Courtesy of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo