Even after 30 years in the arena fighting bulls, he still gets butterflies in his stomach. The only change is now he is able to teach them to fly in …
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Even after 30 years in the arena fighting bulls, he still gets
butterflies in his stomach. The only change is now he is able to
teach them to fly in formation.
Bennie “Bob” Patrick is the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo clown and
this year will be his seventh entertaining the crowds during the
Growing up around rodeos, eventually ending up face-to-face
fighting bulls in an arena was a natural step for him. At the age
of 16 he was approached by an older bull fighter, a person who
protects the cowboys during bull riding, who asked him if he would
like to hit the road for a couple weeks touring other rodeos.
Patrick could not refuse and after learning the ropes from veteran
bull fighters he was hooked with one goal in mind.
“I want to be a good ambassador of Jesus Christ and the sport of
rodeo,” he said.
Patrick started out in bull fighting and eventually evolved into
the comedy aspect working as a clown. He said the comedy comes
naturally to him, but it is work. He tries to have new material
every year including jokes that relate to the town the rodeo is
taking place in or local and national issues like the swine flu or
“A lot of what I say is directed to myself and my family,” he
said. “You know the normal mother-in-law stuff and jokes about my
Patrick has traveled all across the country in places such as
Texas, Utah, Illinois, Wyoming and Minnesota. But in his opinion,
the Elizabeth Stampede is a small rodeo above the rest.
“Elizabeth puts on a phenomenal rodeo and one thing that
impresses me is the committees’ involvement and how well organized
it is,” he said.
He said he appreciates the hospitality given to the competitors
in the rodeo and believes the Elizabeth Stampede Association runs
the rodeo for all the right reasons.
“They have ethics and integrity and it’s not like they are
financially benefiting from the Stampede,” he said. “They want to
give back to the community.”
Patrick teaches bull fighting and clown clinics. After having
his ear ripped off, his ankle broken and more than a dozen broken
ribs, he definitely has the experience. He said one of the most
important things bull fighters and clowns need to do is be in good
physical shape by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
He also tells his students to expect injuries.
“It’s not a question of if you’re going to get hurt, it’s a
question of when and how severe,” he said. “Bull fighting is just
like any other professional sport. There is risk of injury.”
Catch Patrick in action at the 2009 Elizabeth Stampede on June
5-7 at Casey Jones Arena 4189 Highway 86 in Elizabeth. For more
information on the rodeo visit www.elizabethstampede.com.
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