With the Canadian Cowboys Association Finals coming up in the next six weeks, we thought now was a good time to share this story coming from Kelley Byrne of BuyABarrelHorse.com on last year’s CCA Cowboy of the Year, Carl Barrett.
by: Kelley Byrne
Born and raised in Glentworth, Saskatchewan, Carl Barrett comes from a family rich in rodeo roots and competing is something his whole family did. Carl himself worked all the events at one time but specialized in his favourites, the rough stock end of the arena, competing in the bull riding, bareback and saddle bronc.
Carl was in attendance at the original meeting in 1963 of the Canadian Cowboys’ Association as a member and continued as a contestant with the organization up until the 1980’s. Carl married Muriel West in 1971 and together they moved from Glentworth to Regina, Saskatchewan where they still make their home. Muriel’s family was well known in the rodeo business as well and she was no stranger to everything that makes a rodeo run smooth.
After working with Jerry Meyers of Meyers Bar T Rodeo, Carl’s interest in the stock contracting business peaked and soon he became a sub-contractor. In 1991 Prairie Rodeo came into existence and the Canadian Cowboys’ Association has benefited ever since with a contractor that is sincere about producing a good show and who has dedicated his life to the sport.
“It started out small and we didn’t own a lot of stock in the beginning,” said Carl. “Everything we owned fit into the pot of our stock truck.” Prairie Rodeo always had their own chutes and timed event cattle. They may have started small but they had everything needed to produce a quality rodeo and that they did with the first ones being Sheho, Esterhazy and Manor, Saskatchewan.
Over the years, Prairie Rodeo has grown. They have developed a breeding program with their horses and bulls and produce in upwards of twenty rodeos a summer. They have enough quality stock now that allows Prairie Rodeo the capability of producing two rodeos on one weekend as well as sub-contracting to another if necessary.
“We have been fortunate enough to win a lot of awards over years for our stock including one that stands out in particular, Bareback Horse of the Year “Kahk High” who was sold and went to the NFR.” and have extended their breeding lines with regards to the bulls. Prairie Bull Riding is another venture of Prairie Rodeo, “I love all the events of rodeo,” comments Carl. He continues, “but sometimes in a certain building a rodeo does not work so we started producing entertainment that would work, that being bull riding only events. It helps to keep us busy during the off season and it’s growing popularity is just right for some communities,” commented Carl.
Muriel and Carl both are quick to recognize everyone who has helped them throughout the years and who has stuck by Prairie Rodeo from the very beginning. “Muriel works just as hard as I do,” told Carl. As with a lot of businesses one person gets the glory, but it takes a small army to make it work and Carl is the first to admit this. “Bobby Larson is a name who influenced just about everyone involved with rodeo, Dwain and Colleen West as well as Hartley Urquhart and the Ashbacher family have all supported Prairie Rodeo.” Vern Barrett, Carl’s brother is also a familiar face within Prairie Rodeo and worked as pickup man for the company over many years. “There are too many people to mention that have helped over the years both behind the scenes and in the front line.”
Carl Barrett is modest when it comes to his own accomplishments and recognition but he is a Gold Card Recipient within the Canadian Cowboys’ Association and has served on the Board of Directors off and on for many years. Carl reluctantly talks about himself but a couple of things he did mention include the fact that he and Muriel are proud grandparents and interestingly back in 1971 the two went to Malta, Montana for their honeymoon where Carl competed in the bull riding and bareback event, 30 years later they went back to Malta and produced their rodeo!
Carl Barrett shows excellence in giving, in graciousness and in effort. Excellence is his intention and it shows in the life that he has created for himself. “We are fortunate to have great committees that hire us so we can continue to live the lifestyle we love” Barrett finished.
The 2013 CCA Finals Rodeo runs November 12th to 16th during the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, SK.