Kevin Crain

by Lily Landreth
Kevin Crain

The co-owner of C-Bar Rodeo Company, Kevin Crain has been stock contracting for more than 20 years. The rodeo company was started in 1991 by Kevin and his older brother and best friend Ronnie. Growing up in Illinois, the two brothers didn’t have many opportunities for rodeo in the area they lived. “We started out trying to get on things when we were just kids,” Kevin remembers. “We’d get on anything – horses, bulls, cows, hogs. Whatever we could catch, we’d get on it.” Throughout high school, Kevin and Ronnie began challenging themselves further. With nowhere to practice, they built an arena out of telephone poles and hollow field pipe. The brothers started buying up horses that were sale barn rejects to see if they would buck. Little did they know that this was the beginning of their rodeo company. Over the next few years the brothers’ backyard bucking had grown enough that they began hauling bucking horses to rodeos, and in 1991, C-Bar Rodeo Company was formed.

Today, C-Bar Rodeo Company puts on 25 events a year. “Our bull ridings are sanctioned with the BOA and our roughstock events are with the CSRA,” Kevin explains. Since his brother’s passing two years ago, Kevin runs the rodeo company with the help of his nephews and co-owners, Wade and Will. Kevin’s four daughters have helped with the company as well, especially carrying flags. His niece Dusti Lynn is a PRCA and IPRA trick rider, and his younger nephew and niece Tucker and Dakota are old enough to start helping now. “Everybody joined in the rodeo because we needed free help. That’s why we had so many kids!” Kevin said with a laugh. In addition to providing the roughstock for CSRA rodeos, Kevin also serves on the association’s Board of Governors.

Kevin, in addition to running his rodeo company, works as a union business agent. Following high school, and before the rodeo company was born, Kevin had served in the Illinois Army National Guard for several years and then became a union worker. Kevin, 44, says his job entails, “Putting union members out to work and solving any kind of union disputes that come up.” He also enjoys golfing, a hobby which he took up at a rodeo after putting several balls around with some cowboys from the rodeo circuit. They meet at a golf course on occasion, and Kevin says, “I don’t know if the golf course appreciates it, but we have a pretty good time!”

Kevin makes his home about 12 miles outside of Farina, Ill. with his wife Dawn and their four daughters. “Katie competed in volleyball and went to college on a volleyball scholarship, Alex went to college on an academic scholarship, and Kellie went to college on a softball scholarship, so we’re doing pretty well so far!” says Kevin. “Kacie is still in high school, she’s a freshman at South Central High School.”

In addition to running the rodeo company, Kevin and his nephew Wade are also starting to breed their own line of bucking bulls, but Kevin says, “Finding the right combination of bloodlines is a heck of a trick! We’ve got our cows and we’re dabbling around in the embryo and breeding aspects. A goal for us is to someday raise a bull that will take us to the next level.” In 2013, the Crains bought into a futurity calf and competed in the Million Dollar Futurity in Las Vegas, Nev. Ultimately, Kevin is very proud of the rodeo company that he created with his brother. “We had no idea that our company would grow like it has today!” he concluded.

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