Legendary roping and barrel racing producer Bobby “Booger” Barter passed away on December 8, 2009, as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Booger, as he was fondly known, was born on January 14, 1954, to Bobby and Darlene Barter of Weslaco, Texas.
Barter attended school in Weslaco, Texas. He was an active participant in the Texas Youth Rodeo Association. He then attended Texas A & I University, TCU and graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.
In the late 1980s he started a career in his true passion, team roping. Barter produced the most innovative team ropings-awarding millions in cash, pickup trucks, horse trailers and saddles.
Through the years, Barter has been responsible for new concepts, payouts and entertainment-a formula that brought him much success. His current projects were World Team Roping Productions and World Barrel Racing Productions.
“Back when I first started team roping, we would drive to a place, not have enough teams and couldn’t win enough money,” Barter told Spin To Win Rodeo in a 2008 interview. “So I invented the guaranteed team roping so you knew exactly what you could win when you got there.”
Early on, the guaranteed payout was the distinctive element of his ropings. Soon, it was obvious that a quality production was paramount to attracting ropers, so he made sure there were good cattle, good flagmen, good announcers and so forth. As that trend caught on, Barter saw a need to separate himself from the crowd again.
“We had to go to the next level and provide entertainment,” he said. “We did that with egg tosses, pay a guy’s entry fees to rope in shorts, you never know what we’re going to do when you come to one of our events.”
“If Denny Gentry has been the godfather of the numbered ropings, Booger Barter was the P.T. Barnum,” fellow roping producer Billy Pipes said. “He was there to entertain. He was probably the best production guy in the business. People just had a good time at his events.”
“Booger always wanted to be known as the P.T. Barnum in our industry and certainly many viewed him that way,” fellow roping producer and longtime friend Gentry said.
“But I viewed him as a very seriously innovative businessman. His guaranteed ropings changed the entire financial formula that had existed in money-oriented horse events.
His guaranteed formula would not work unless you could correctly estimate attendance, and then be fearless enough to put your venture capital in front of it. There are plenty of people that crashed and burned trying to run with Booger Barter.
Variations and modifications of those formulas have been and will continue to be used for the rest of time by promoters who wear hats.”
Barter is survived by his mother and father, Bobby and Darlene Barter; his sons, Jesse and Bandera; and wife Sarah.
In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to the Bandera Barter scholarship fund at Citizens National Bank, P.O. Box 127, Chandler, Texas, 75758.