Tyler Williams has been a rodeo clown around the Western Slope for the past 10 years. His job goes beyond keeping the bull rider safe. Rodeo clowns, or bullfighters, are responsible for multiple jobs, ranging from preparing the gear to sorting the angry bulls and bucking broncos; they are also sometimes used as comic relief throughout the show.
The job of a rodeo clown comes with obvious danger. During the bull-riding portion of the rodeo, the bullfighter is used to protect a fallen rider from the bull by distracting the bull and providing an alternative target for the bull to attack. The rodeo clown enters the arena before the bull is released from the bucking chute. The clown stands on either side of the chute and prepares to distract and keep the rider safe during their effort to make the 8-second buzzer.
Rodeo clowns generally make around $150 a night, however, for Tyler Williams it is not about the money. “It’s not about the money, it’s about getting to do what I love. My dad was a bullfighter for a long time and it’s just a sport that I want to carry on,” said Williams “If it was about the money I would have been done a long time ago.”
Williams can be seen in action at the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo every Thursday night.
All photos by PI Staff Photographer Chelsea Self. email@example.com
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