Bullfighters & Clowns
2012 Bullfighters: Eric Layton, Red Bluff CA & Mitch Coleman - Molalla, OR
In rodeo’s early days, clowns were entertainers first, protectors of bull riders second. But in today’s sport of professional rodeo, protecting bull riders from serious injury or death is no joking matter.
Clowns are serious about saving bull riders, and often will put their lives in jeopardy. The men in the funny outfits have honed their skills and methods of distracting bulls, giving cowboys time to escape to the nearest fence railing or open gate.
About two decades ago, bullfighters started competing amongst themselves in informal bullfights, pushing each other to the edges of daredevil stunts. In 1980, Wrangler sponsored the first Wrangler Jeans ProRodeo Bullfight Tour, to entice and reward the unique, hardworking professional rodeo bullfighters.
The rodeo breed of bullfighting bears no resemblance to the Spanish event bearing the same name. In rodeo bullfighting, the four-legged contestants always leave the arena alive and unharmed.
At St. Paul, the primary focus of the clowns is first to protect the contestants and then to entertain the crowd.
2013 Barrel Clown: The Wild Child, Troy Lerwill - Payson, Utah
Born and raised in Payson Utah, to a team roper father and an ex-rodeo queen mom, he got his first horse when he was four. By ten, he was riding motorcycles and entered his first motorcycle race two years later. He went on to become the number one professional motor cross racer in Utah while still a teenager. He started a mountain bike retail and service shop and two years later decided to try Bullfighting. He has been the PRCA Comedy Act of the Year six times, three times NFR Barrelman, and twice the Coors Man in the Can.
This daring and fearless guy will keep you on the edge of your seat with your heart pounding in your chest as he shares the thrill of speed and high risk stunts with his motorcycle and crazy antics. This riveting performer is not to be missed!