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CLAREMORE, Okla. – There are several reasons why the Will Rogers Stampede is a three-time winner of Small Rodeo of the Year.
One key factor is the production and crew from Dallas-based Pete Carr Pro Rodeo. The hardworking staff is already working on this year’s Stampede, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 26-Sunday, May 28, at Will Rogers Stampede Arena.
“Having Pete Carr Pro Rodeo as our producer has been a big part of our rodeo’s success,” said David Petty, co-chairman of the volunteer committee that organizes the annual rodeo.
Claremore’s rodeo has been recognized each of the past three years by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The Carr firm also has been recognized as one of the best, a five-time nominee for Stock Contractor of the Year and the 2014 winner of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s Stock Contractor of the Year.
“One of the things small rodeo committees are struggling with is we must have a product to keep people coming back, and Pete Carr Pro Rodeo brings that product that entices people to want to see that show,” Petty said. “Once people see it, the chances of them becoming a regular at the rodeo are higher.”
That type of production mixed with amazing animal athletes is a drawing card for the top cowboys and cowgirls in the game. It’s why a record number of contestants have signed up to be part of the three-day affair. But the backbone behind all of the Carr talent lies within the hard-working crew that does all the behind-the-scenes work.
“We work really hard all year to produce the rodeos and feature the stock that will draw the top cowboys,” said Pete Carr, the company’s owner. “We have a great group of hard-working people who care about the sport and everything that goes into it.”
That group includes Sandy Gwatney, the 2016 Secretary of the Year. She handles the bookwork that is vital to any rodeo, but it takes a staff of about 15 to make sure everything goes off well. From feeding animals to getting everything ready for each of the three performances, there are many tasks that go into making a rodeo like the Will Rogers Stampede one of the very best.
“Pete has been nominated as Stock Contractor of the Year five straight times, and he has the type of production and the kinds of animals that the contestants want to be associated with when they get to Claremore,” Petty said. “We’re proud to have an award-winning rodeo in Claremore, but a big part of that is having Pete and so many people he brings to town that are award winners, too.”