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HENDERSON, Texas – Painted River is still young, but she’s the next in a long line of proven winners from Pete Carr Pro Rodeo.
Over the years, Carr has acquired some of the greatest animal athletes in ProRodeo, but there’s something special about those animals that have been raised on the firm’s ranch just outside of Athens, Texas. Many of those will be featured at the Black Gold Stampede, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 – Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Rusk County Expo Center.
“Pete has a bunch of great young horses,” said Bill Tutor, a bareback rider from Huntsville, Texas, who finished the 2017 season 11th in the world standings. “It doesn’t matter how big the rodeo is; if it’s one of Pete Carr’s rodeos, you know you’re going to get on something that you want to get on.
“All those horses are awesome in their own way and are fun to get on.” Painted River is just one of several up-and-coming animals that Carr features. She just has the best resume so far, and she has a fantastic pedigree: Her dam is River Boat Annie, a 17-year-old red roan mare that has bucked at the NFR 11 times; she also was the reserve world champion bareback horse in 2007. The sire is Korczak, which has been selected to the finale three times.
“That was the first time I’d been on her, but I’ve seen her and she’s just a great horse,” said Chad Rutherford, who rode Painted River for 91.5 points to win the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo last February. “It was a great feeling the whole ride.”
That comes down to the talented mare’s bucking style. Some horses make it more like a fist fight to get big numbers. Scores are based on the 100-point scale, with half coming from the animal and half from the cowboy.
“She’s just electric,” Tutor said of Painted River. “She’s not exactly rider friendly, but she’s so electric that she helps you do your job. She’s flashy, and that’s the main thing because she allows you to be flashy, too. It adds up to be a fun ride.”
Tutor rode the horse for 87 points at the 2017 RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo. He’s been on several Carr bucking horses over the course of his young career. In fact, he’s had several high-marked rides on Dirty Jacket, the two-time Bareback Horse of the Year.
“I would put Painted River in the same category as Dirty Jacket,” Tutor said. “She feels good, but you don’t want to stub your toe. They are no day off, but if you do your part, great things can happen. They both feel amazing. When you see your name by theirs on the draw, you’re ecstatic.”
It’s that way with a lot of Carr animals, which is why cowboys flock to rodeos that have the Rafter C attached. This past December, the Carr firm had 11 animals selected to buck at the NFR. It was Painted River’s third trip to Las Vegas, and she was joined by another home-grown talent in Dirty Flirt, a 9-year-old paint gelding.
“I go all across the country to get on Pete Carr’s horses,” Rutherford said. “I love their stock, and I love their rodeos.”
He’s not the only cowboy that believes that way, and that’s why so many rodeos lean on the Carr team for their production.