By Lindsay Leyden, Rodeo Austin
AUSTIN, Texas -- While the professional rodeo athletes make for a great night of entertainment on their own, rodeo clown Justin Rumford adds a little something extra to each performance at Rodeo Austin, which hosted night four of the Ride for the Brand Cowboy Tournament on Tuesday.
Rumford has only been a rodeo clown for six years, but the level of comfort and expertise he displays in the spotlight hints at a much deeper understanding of the industry.
I was always behind the scenes at the rodeos, hanging out with the cowboys, cracking jokes ,and they were always telling me I should be a rodeo clown," Rumford said. "I never really wanted to [be a rodeo clown] until I got to fill in one weekend at a bull riding, and I realized how much it paid and how much fun it was. It was a pretty easy decision from there.Since then he has become one of the top barrelmen in the world.
"Every single day you go in that arena and work with those bulls is exhilarating," Rumford said. "I hate when people say, 'You guys are crazy.' The definition of crazy is a person who doesn't know what they are doing. We understand the danger element, but we also understand and respect the bulls and what they can do; our job is great, and it's something we love to do."
Rumford's enthusiasm and passion for his career shines in his performance on the arena floor, not only through his interaction with the bulls but also in his specialty acts.
From riding a mini-bike around the arena to a "wild gorilla showdown" act, Rumford has a ton in store for the rest of Rodeo Austin's performances. Come see Rumford, the bullfighters, and rodeo athletes now through March 25.