Posted: Oct 19, 2012 6:44 PM by Angela Douglas - Q2 News
Updated: Oct 19, 2012 6:47 PM
BILLINGS - From mutton busting to bucking broncos, The NILE Rodeo is packed with western flare.
And there's one guy out there in the arena that pulls it all together: JJ the Rodeo Clown.
"I love rodeo, I love rodeo fans, I love the atmosphere at rodeos," said PRCA Rodeo Clown JJ Harrison
He's quick on his feet and feeds off the crowd.
With this guy, you never know what's going come out of his mouth -- and he likes it that way.
"I don't plan anything," explained the professional rodeo clown. I play off of what's happening in the arena, what's happening in the crowd."
But it's not all fun and games, the clown and his barrel have a job to do.
"If they get thrown down too far away from the fence and the bull is coming at them, my job is to get in between the bull rider and bull," JJ said.
Prior to the rodeo, JJ was kind enough to give me some tips on how to become a successful barrel man.
He made it look effortless as he swiftly lept into the barrel, so I gave it a try. I quickly learned that I would not fare well in the event of a bull charging at me.
But, JJ refused to let me give up on my future career as a rodeo clown.
Back at his trailer, with his wife and 4-year-old son, the family man suited me up in his finest pink gear.
Soon enough we're both in costume, ready for the show to begin.
JJ rallied the crowd from the get-go, I waited for the mutton busting. From revving up the crowd to corralling and holding sheep, JJ made sure I experienced it all.
Life as a rodeo clown is full of laughs and smiles.
It's a job I think I'll let JJ remain the pro at, but clowning around at The NILE Rodeo was a night I won't soon forget.