BAY CITY, Texas – Justin Rumford has always made people laugh.
It’s his naturally gregarious nature, a personality developed from a life on the rodeo trail. He’s a third-generation cowboy who has done just about everything there can be done in the sport he loves.
Rumford was raised in a south Kansas rodeo family and has served as a truck driver, a pickup man, a bullfighter and a contestant, just to name a few. He spent his young adult life trying to find his perfect fit in the rodeo industry.
He found it about five years ago when he combined his rodeo experience with his personality and became the preeminent clowns in ProRodeo. In fact, he’s been named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Clown of the Year each of the past four seasons and is a two-time Coors Man in the Can.
He will have it all with him to the Matagorda County Fair and Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3-Saturday, March 5, at the Matagorda County Fairgrounds. Rumford will be the rodeo’s clown and featured act for the three-night rodeo.
“We’re excited to have him at our rodeo,” said Daniel Tucker, chairman of the fair’s rodeo committee. “He has a lot of things he brings with him. We’re excited that Pete Carr is bringing him to our rodeo.”
Carr is the owner of Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo, which produces the annual Bay City rodeo.
In addition to having some of the greatest animal athletes in ProRodeo, Carr also makes sure to have the best overall entertainment for fans. That includes a world-class production that features a top comedian.
Comedy is at the forefront of Rumford’s repertoire, and he adds a distinct flavor to each rodeo performance. Having a lifelong history in the game also plays to his strengths.
“This clowning deal is the best thing I’ve ever had,” said Rumford of Ponca City, Okla. “It’s something in rodeo that I can have a lot of longevity in. There’s not just a ton of risk, and it’s something I enjoy so much.”
He’s had great success in just a short time as a rodeo clown, but his biggest reward is doing something he loves. Still, he doubled-up in two major awards this last year, being named the Clown of the Year for the fourth straight time and the Coors Man in the Can for the second time in three years – the latter award is named for the best barrelman in the sport.
“I’ve been involved in rodeo my whole life,” he said. “I’ve never done anything else, and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I’ve always wanted to be successful. A (few) years ago when I started this venture, I knew if I worked really hard and tried really hard that I could get to the top in a hurry.”
He’s made it, and now he’s bringing his show to Bay City.
“People want to laugh at each other more than they want to laugh at something,” Rumford said.
“When I’m in the arena, I’m saying the same stuff I’d say if I wasn’t clowning.
“It’s just me being me.”
That’s pretty good.
Courtesy of Pete Carr Pro Rodeo