David Petty has dedicated much of his life to the sport he loves, and that’s rodeo.
Petty has been involved with the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA Rodeo for more than two decades, much of that time as the chairman of the volunteer committee. With his wife, Dawn, he operates Double Rafter D Scoreboards, providing video support to rodeos across the country.
Starting later this month, he will expand upon his support of the game while serving as a director on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association board.
“It’s quite an honor to be elected by your peers to represent our group,” said Petty of Chelsea, Okla. “I’ve served eight years on our executive committee council, so I plan to bring that experience and a lot of communication to this new assignment.”
He is the representative for the small rodeos in the PRCA, and he knows a thing or two about events of that size. In addition to working many rodeos in that category throughout the year with the scoreboard, Claremore’s rodeo has been recognized as the Small Rodeo of the Year each of the past five seasons.
“I feel like me being voted in to this position is very important for our community,” he said. “It’s a very important role for us. I refer to a rodeo as the four Cs: community, contestants, contract personnel and committees. It takes all of them working together to have a successful event.
“Sometimes there are tough changes required, but you’ve got to look at those with an open mind and see how it’s going to affect all facets of our sport.”
Now as one of nine board members, he knows there will be some tough decisions ahead. As the governing board, the directors have the final say on all aspect of operations. He understands that he brings one of many opinions to the table when it’s time to make those decisions.
“Things that work in Claremore, Oklahoma, don’t necessarily work in Gooding, Idaho,” Petty said. “I feel like I can look at it from all sides of the coin, not just the heads and tails but also the edges, too.
“I realize I have some pretty big shoes to fill and lots of responsibility. We need to grow the base of our organization and focus on getting new members.”
That means open communication, not only with his constituents in the small-rodeo category but also the general membership. He will lean on his experiences and take the lessons taught him by those who came before. That includes Clem McSpadden, a member of rodeo royalty and an American statesman from Chelsea who passed away a decade ago.
“I wish I could sit on that bench outside his office and let him guide me again,” Petty said. “He was a very big part of teaching me about the business of rodeo, and he would be an asset to me if he were still around.
“He was a great mentor, and I just hope I can make him proud by doing the very best job I can.”