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Begging for some action

6/9/2009

With another year of Kansas City, Kan., and Fort Smith, Ark., under my belt, May has come and gone, and July is fast approaching. This is the best time of the year in the rodeo world. There are so many rodeos going on, and everyone will be hitting the road in search of their path to the NFR! As for me, I too am hitting the road and trying to keep the cowboys safe so they can achieve their goal.

In Kansas City, I worked with a great friend, Dusty Tuckness. I had a great time and he and I got through a mean pen of Butler and Son bucking bulls without any injuries! Benny Butler, the owner of Butler and Son Rodeo Company, is always talking about how he can hook us — sorry Benny, not this year.

Fort Smith is one of my favorite rodeos to work. The crowd at the performances there are always energetic and make fighting bulls more fun than it already is. The committee takes great care of us, and we got to play in a great golf tournament thanks to Don Falden from Dodge. I love playing golf, and for once I remembered to bring my golf clubs with me.

The bull riding started off a little slow, and for the first few performances, I was begging for some action from the bulls. Mark Stallings from ESPN was in Fort Smith, and I was beginning to wonder if the poor guy was ever going to get to take a good picture. Finally, without fail, on the fourth day I got the opportunity to work a hang up.

The bull rider was making a good ride, but he got pulled into the well and was hung up. I saw a shot to get in there and get him loose, and I made my move. It took a little time because the cowboy was young and would not give up his tail. For three or four jumps while on the bull's back I was trying to get the tail of the rope away from his hand so I could get us all out of there safely. Everything worked out great and we all got out of there without harm.

Boyd Pollhamus provided the funniest thing of the whole rodeo, I thought. After one of the bulls had thrown the rider he quickly saw me and the chase was on. I manage to escape, and this is where Boyd comes in the picture. He was just starting to talk about what I had just done and the bull saw his horse. Boyd realized this and began to run from the bull. It did not matter because the bull was locked onto his horse Rolex and he chased Boyd around the whole arena. He was running 'ol Rolex so fast, and Boyd's cowboy hat was trying to fly off. Boyd had dropped his microphone down and grabbed his reins and was running for his life. That's what it looked like from my point of view, but it was hard to tell through all the laughing I was doing. Even though my buddy Boyd was scared, I think he is one of the greatest announcers ever.

Well, I am off to some great Texas rodeos like Mesquite, Gladewater and Coleman. I look forward to bringing the listeners some more great stories and hope that everyone is as blessed as I have been.

-Clay Collins

To read Clay's previous blog, 'Working for free,' click here.