Local rodeo depends on Carr team

May 4—Pete Carr came to town 11 years ago as a first-time stock contractor for the Tops in Texas Rodeo.

Much has changed over that time in the sport and Jacksonville's rodeo, but there's one thing that's constant between rodeo organizers and their primary livestock producer.

"Pete's always there if I ever need anything," said Byron Underwood, chairman of the volunteer committee that produces the annual event.

This year's rodeo is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, through Saturday, May 11, at the Jacksonville Rodeo Arena.

"Pete never fails to answer a call. If I have a concern or need anything at all, he'll help me," Underwood said. "When Pete and I first started working together, it was all business. Over the last several years, we've become friends. We've gotten to know each other on a more personal level, and I think our working relationship has just gotten better because of it."

That works because both entities want success for each other. Anytime the Tops in Texas Rodeo is thriving, Dallas-based Pete Carr Pro Rodeo is also benefiting. The two go hand-in-hand, and the end result is a rodeo in Cherokee County that everyone can boast about for years.

"Whatever it takes to make our rodeo a success, Pete does it," Underwood said.

But there's a lot more to making a rodeo happen. While local organizers handle promotion, raise the money necessary and hire the personnel, Carr and his team of rodeo experts handle all the little things that take place during the three days of rodeo. A good rodeo is equal parts competition and entertainment, and the Carr crew is magical in how it makes production work during each performance.

"I've been very fortunate that since I got into the rodeo business, I've had a good stock contractor," Underwood said. "I told Pete a long time ago, 'You're our man.'

"I trust his opinions, and I trust what he tells me. I trust his attitude and the professionalism he brings to the sport of rodeo. Everything he does is to make our rodeo better and to make rodeo, in general, better, too."

Carr is a 14-time nominee for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year. Over the last decade, he's had more stock selected to buck at the National Finals Rodeo than most other livestock producers. Since the firm was established two decades ago, five animals have been named the very best in a given year: Bareback horses Real Deal (2005), Big Tex (2010), Deuces Night (2012) and Dirty Jacket (2014-15) and 2023 PRCA Bull of the Year Bayou Bengal.

"I think Pete's got some of the best stock going down the road," Underwood said. "That's reason enough for us to have him as our stock contractor."

What makes the perfect rodeo producer? That depends on the needs of the community and the people who volunteer their time to organize every step. For the folks in this east Texas community, they know they have something special with Pete Carr Pro Rodeo.