The Hidden Horror of Being a Rodeo Clown
The job of the beloved rodeo clown may seem like it’s just a bunch of fun and games, but think not. This job involves a lot of risk-taking and is in no way secured safety. The rodeo clown, otherwise known as the “bullfighter,” does not question whether or not he will survive with any injuries every time he enters the arena, but questions more like how many injuries he will end up with when it is over. Originally, the idea of rodeo clowns emerged in hopes of simply keeping the children and other spectators in the audience entertained between events. Nowadays, the rodeo clowns or bullfighters have three jobs: to clown, entertain, and protect the cowboys.
The main priority of the bullfighter, however, is to protect the bull riders from serious injuries or even death. The bullfighters are essentially putting their own lives on the line to save the rodeo cowboy. Protecting the cowboy from a bull is very different from saving them from a horse because in general, a horse will try to avoid stepping on the cowboy. Some bulls, on the other hand, will go out of their way to attack anything that stands in their way. To keep the bulls from attacking the cowboy, the bullfighter attempts to distract them, so their target becomes them and not the cowboy.
It is clearly necessary that the bullfighters wear their protective gear under the funny clown costumes. Dressed with padded equipment to help prevent injuries to every body part including their chests, ribs, thighs, hips, tailbones, shins, and ankles, these brave bullfighters still suffer from traumatic wounds. One professional rodeo clown compared his job of getting charged by a bull to that of a car blazing towards you at 20 mph. This same rodeo clown explained that over his 23 years of clowning around, he has suffered from over 24 broken bones, three concussions, a dislocated jaw, internal injuries, and a torn-off ear.
While the bulls and other livestock always leave the arena alive and unharmed, it is the rodeo clowns, cowboys, and cowgirls that are tormenting their bodies for the sake of what they love. We here at the Cowboy Lifestyle Network know that this job is one difficult, courageous, and exciting task, but are truly grateful for the men and women that continue to do it and keep rodeo alive. Read more about one of the most famous rodeo clown’s story, Flint Rasmussen, by clicking here.