story by Lindsay King If Andee Jo Haden has anything to be proud of, it’s the barrel horse she’s made out of her gelding Superman. […]
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Meet the Member Bob Carder
story by Lindsay King
Cardholder number 347 and the original secretary from ACRAs beginnings in 1976 are all in the family tree of current vice president, Bob Carder, from Miami, Oklahoma. “The ACRA has a deep history in my family.” Bob’s wife Shawn and daughters, Addee, 18, and Kylee, 23, are all current members. Bob started out in rodeo as a team roper, calf roper, bareback rider and steer wrestler. “I made my way through the high school and amateur ranks, steer wrestling turned out to be my forte.” Bob’s involvement with ACRA leadership started in 1990 as the steer wrestling director, he took time off as his daughters started to rodeo more. “When my daughters started to rodeo in ACRA, I got involved on the board again. I was a committee director for two years before becoming vice president.” For the past nine years, Bob has chaired Rodeo Miami, voted ACRA rodeo of the year seven of those years. “Usually this rodeo is the first weekend in May, but our arena was four-feet under water.” An ACRA- and IPRA-sanctioned event, they have all eight of the regular events but also include steer roping. “NEOs rodeo coach, Koby Ungeheuer and I started chairing this rodeo in 2010 and it has just grown from there.” Rodeo Miami is special for Bob and Shawn because it is where he asked her to marry him in 1989 when he moved to Oklahoma. Bob has worked for Oklahoma Natural Gas for the past 25 years. For 27 years Bob has taught the horseshoeing class at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and also assists Koby with the rodeo team.
“I function on very little sleep. We try to go to about two or three rodeos a week. Our whole family travels together.” This year has sent his family in different directions, as Kylee seeks rodoes outside their usual circle. “I can throw a rock from my house in Oklahoma and hit Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. That is our circle for rodeos.” Bob’s last ACRA finals was in 1995 and the last time he wrestled a steer was eight years ago. “I was always in the top five for ACRA. I got to experience NARC finals in El Paso, Texas, to represent the ACRA in 1989. I just love the sport of rodeo, I was raised in it.” It all started with Bob’s dad, Bob, a steer wrestler and one of the first members of the ACRA. “He was the one that started dragging me to rodeos. I tried to play sports but I just had a love for rodeo more.” Bob was raised in southwest Missouri, ironically near the town where the ACRA was formed. “Back in the 70s there really were not any organized local rodeos around. Everything was open.” The founding ACRA members sought to create an association providing equal opportunities with rules and make the playing field as even as they could. “I get to work with almost all the ACRA stock contractors, they are all upstanding people. They want to see the cowboys and cowgirls do well and compete on quality livestock.”
Breakaway roping has been ACRAs big push in the last ten years, Bob was reluctant to include it outside of the slack at first. “After the response from the crowd and a million girls showed up, it is one of the best events we have. We get 50-60 breakaway ropers at every rodeo.” The prize money and year-end awards have gotten bigger and better the last forty years but breakaway roping is the biggest change Bob has seen. “The ACRA is so family oriented, the breakaway roping allows a husband and wife to both participate in our rodeos.” They added money to both sides of the team roping to also continue growing membership. “Our major goal is to get more added money for our contestants and to get better awards. I enjoy putting on rodeos and helping grow the organization, to make it bigger and better for the cowboys and cowgirls.”