140 years of the West of the Pecos Rodeo

Pecos, Texas is known for many things, but arguably the two most famous are its sweet cantaloupes and being home of the world’s first rodeo.

The story goes that a couple of cowpokes met for a drink at Red Newell’s saloon. They decided to organize a friendly competition to show off their steer roping skills. Local ranchers put up $40 in prize money, and so, on July 4, 1883, what would become known as the West of the Pecos Rodeo was born.

One hundred and forty years later, the rodeo returned to Pecos last week to thrill again from Wednesday, June 21, to Saturday, June 24. Nowadays, the event involves significantly more prize money, competitors from all over the country, including many National Finals Rodeo participants and winners, a televised broadcast and thousands of spectators.

Rodeo officials described an epic event this year, with “roaring crowds” and “thundering hooves” delivering an adrenaline rush to attendees. I attended myself and can attest to the rodeo being a great time for the whole family.

This year, Chevron was an elite sponsor of the rodeo. On Wednesday, Chevron Permian employees participated in the Hippies & Cowboys themed parade through Pecos. Dawning tie-die shirts, long-haired wigs and over-sized cowboy hats, they paraded through town handing out candy and other goodies to the children and families of Pecos. Chevron won second place in the commercial category for our parade float.

Later that night, Chevron employees and their families enjoyed a BBQ dinner and the first night of rodeo action.

Chevron’s large presence at the West of the Pecos Rodeo, Pecos’s premier event, further demonstrates the company’s commitment to the Pecos community. Chevron has significant operations in this area.

Jonathan Harshman is a public and government affairs advisor for Chevron’s Mid-Continent Business Unit.