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PECOS, Texas – The West of the Pecos Rodeo is the world’s oldest event of its kind, but there’s much more to it.
It’s also one of the very best ProRodeos in the country, having been nominated each of the past two seasons as Large Outdoor Rodeo of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The volunteers who organize the annual rodeo hope to at least repeat during this year’s rodeo, set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 21-Saturday, June 24, at Buck Jackson Arena.
“Just talking about it gives me chill bumps,” said Brenda McKinney, a longtime member of the committee. “It’s such an honor to be nominated and to be up against all those other great rodeos that are on the list. We are so proud of what we do, but for the cowboys to have nominated us really means the world to me and the rest of the committee.
“I feel like we’re nominated in that group of rodeos because of Pete Carr, his crew and his stock. He helps us get that name. Without great stock, the cowboys wouldn’t be able to win what they win here. We are forever grateful to Pete for all he has done for our rodeo.”
The event’s history is mixed well with modern production to make the West of the Pecos Rodeo a marquee event in ProRodeo. That also means the return of clown and entertainer Troy Lerwill, who will keep the fans on the edges of their seats throughout each of the four performances.
“Last year was the first time we’ve had Troy, and we’re very excited to have him back this year,” McKinney said of Lerwill, who has been recognized as PRCA Comedy Act of the Year six times. “I think he was definitely a crowd-pleaser, and I know the fans will be excited to see him again.”
And those fans know rodeo, especially high-quality rodeo. For more than 130 years, the sport has been a big part of this community of about 9,000 people. That’s something special for each resident.
“We are the home of the world’s first rodeo,” she said. “It’s a piece of history that nobody can take away from us. It’s something this community is very proud of.”
Nobody understands that history better than Pete Carr, who owns the livestock firm. He began his rodeo career as a contestant and now runs the largest contracting firm in ProRodeo, and Pecos has been on his schedule since Carr’s first year as a contractor.
“We are thrilled we can even have Pete here,” McKinney said. “He and his crew are such joys to work with. We couldn’t ask for a better group of people, and they’ll do anything for us.
“We have seen Pete grow, and we are very honored to be part of that growth. We are thrilled Pete’s been with us as long as he has. From Day One, it’s been a great relationship.”
It shows in every performance of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame event.