Rodeo Clowns and Bullfighters are an integral part of the sport of bull riding, who put their lives at risk to protect the riders. In addition to this duty to protect the athletes from bulls, the rodeo clowns provide entertainment and comedic relief to spectators of the sport. This role was first started in the early 1900’s when rodeo promoters hired cowboys to entertain the crowd during delays and transitions. To make the crowds laugh, these entertainers began to wear baggy, bright clothing, and apply clown makeup. As more aggressive bulls were introduced to the sport, fallen riders needed additional protection from the bulls. Since the clowns were already present in the arena, they were the ones to begin distracting the bulls from the fallen riders. However, in most present-day rodeos in the United States, this job has been split into two roles: the bullfighter (athlete protection), and the rodeo clown (the barrelmen).
One of the greatest rodeo clowns of all time, is Mr. Lecile Harris. He got his start in rodeo when he was in high school as a bull rider and fill-in bullfighter