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2012 PRCA Media Guide - Bullfighters, Clowns, Barrelmen

2012 PRCA Media Guide - Bullfighters, Clowns, Barrelmen

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Published by PRCA
2011 Wrangler NFR personnel
Bullfighters, clowns, barrelmen bios
2011 Wrangler NFR personnel
Bullfighters, clowns, barrelmen bios

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Published by: PRCA on May 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Keith Isley chocked up his fourth entertainment trifecta at the 2011 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, winning Clown of the Year,Coors Man in the Can (barrelman) and Specialty Act of the Year/ Comedy awards for the fourth time (2006, 2009-11); no one else hasmanaged the feat even once.
Photo by Eva Scofeld
2011 Wrangler NFR Personnel 
Darrell Dieenbach – Bullfghter 
Darrell Dieenbach has put more on the line or the Wrangler NFR than many.He immigrated to the U.S. rom Australia, where he rode bulls and broncs, ought
bulls, read the
ProRodeo Sports News
and hankered to get his own PRCA member-
ship. And he watched
o NFR videos, telling himsel ater he got to America,
“I I don’t make the Finals in ve years, I’ll go home.”
No worries, mate. Three years ater coming to America, Dieenbach achieved
his goal in 2001, and he’s been selected every year since then – 11 consecutive
times. But due to the hazards o his chosen proession, he sat home in 2006 and
2008 with a broken neck and a broken leg, respectively … and that’s not all. “It
broke my heart,he said. “You go all year with that goal. To sit home is hard when
you put as much into it as I do.“But when I’m there in the (Thomas & Mack) alley stretching, and I hear (announcer) Bob Tallmangetting the crowd pumped up and cheering, just like on the old NFR tapes I used to watch, that gets mymotor running. And when I step into the arena, nothing else matters except taking care o the guys. To
be selected by your peers to protect them at the Finals, it’s an honor – it’s worth all the bumps and bruisesand hookings and getting run over. I you love something enough, then you give everything you’ve got,
and I love protecting bull riders.“Going to the NFR still means as much to me as it did the rst time. I anything, it has more shine. Ihave the second-highest number o consecutive selections ater Joe Baumgartner, who had 13, and I’mproud that I’ve been tough enough to do that, to get beaten up all season and stay dedicated enoughto make the sacrices I make to take care o the guys.”
Dieenbach recently achieved a new goal: American citizenship. As a dual American-Australian citizen,
he can visit amily in Australia any time without visa worries. But more importantly, he knows he canstay here.“I had my interview, took an American history test, and I passed my English test – probably becausethey couldn’t understand me,” Dieenbach said o his accent. “I went to Portland (Ore.) or the swearing-in ceremony or about 40 o us, which was pretty cool. It is a relie to know I can stay here, ater I’ve putso much into it. I have two places here; this is my home, and now I can nally call America my home.”
Dusty Tuckness – Bullfghter 
 They say the Wrangler NFR gets in your blood. Ater three consecutive years
(2009-11) in the Thomas & Mack Center, Dusty Tuckness is thoroughly inectedwith NFR ever.“One o my goals since I was a kid has always been to go to the Finals, andanother is to beat the records o other bullghters who have gone there,Tuck-ness said. “To go once is an achievement, but to go 11 times like Darrell Dieen-bach or 14 times like Joe Baumgartner (13 consecutive, 14 overall), that’s theultimate goal. I want to push orward and get mysel into their category.”But Tuckness is driven by more than competitive re.“I try to be as consistent as I can, do my job day in and day out, and hopethat will lead to a good outcome at the end o the year. Every year I get to goback, it means I’ve been consistent and the bull riders trust me and want to see me in the arena, so tokeep going back is a real honor.“This year was a phenomenal Finals. Nearly every perormance had some kind o action or us, atleast one chance to take a hooking or the guys, and we had to work as a team and get aggressive everytime. For me, that’s a un day at the oce. And when the top 15 bull riders in the world thanked each o us individually and gave us a bonus, they were saying we meant a lot to them, that we did our jobs andthey wanted to take care o us. That’s very humbling.”
Kenny Bergeron – Bullfghter 
In 2010, Kenny Bergeron really elt the pressure o his rst Wrangler NFR. “I eltlike there was no room or error,” Bergeron said shortly aterward. “I had to be inthe right spot, make the right move, take the hook at the right time. It’s the mostdicult bullghting I’ve ever done because all the guys are so good. Even whenthey get in trouble, they can still stay on the bulls, so you can’t run in too soon, butyou have to be in the right place when they need you.”Bergeron ound his second NFR a more relaxed experience. “I knew what toexpect, what it was going to be like to do 10 rounds o the (2011) Finals,” he said.“It’s 10 days o adrenaline. You’d think 10 days o anything would get old, but notthe NFR! It was so un that I was disappointed when it ended, even though I got togo skiing with (2011 World Champion Bareback Rider) Kaycee Feild aterward.”Being rom Louisiana, Bergeron adds almost an extra syllable to the word ‘skiing,’ so just how good a skieris he? “Well, I’m a pretty decent skier considering I’m rom south Louisiana,” he said. “OK, Kaycee was makingme look pretty bad – but we were only a hal hour rom his house. And yeah, I was a little stif ater the NFR,but since I never get to go skiing, I sucked it up or a couple o days. But then the plane ride home nearlykilled me.”Bull rider protection at the 2011 NFR denitely seemed a bit more challenging than usual, at least to theviewer, but Bergeron said the camaraderie he eels with the other two bullghters has made them a cohesiveunit even when acing the most ornery bulls. “To get to the NFR is a great honor, and to do it with Darrell andDusty is even better – they are great bullghters and even better people. We all have the same absolutegoals – to keep the bull riders sae, then to keep each other sae. So usually at least one o us gets wiped outeach night. There were only three rounds this year (in 2011) where no one took a hooking. We’re just ocusedon keeping those guys sae.“But we cut up and have a lot o un, too. Everybody hangs out in the bullghters’ locker room – we makeGeorge Carlin sound like Sunday Bible school. But we’re ans o rodeo, and especially o those bull riders.And they’re our riends – those 15 guys and the other 500 who put their hands in a bull rope every weekend.My goal will always be to make it to the NFR, but only because I want to do the best I can or every one o those guys.”
CrAsh Cooper – Barrelman 
CrAsh Cooper always dreamed o representing Canada, his home country, on aninternational stage. He just thought that stage would be a little colder – perhaps 28degrees, like an ice rink. In the late 1990s, Cooper was playing minor league hockeyin Canada and the U.S. when a car wreck changed his career path.“I was on my way to a rodeo to ght bulls,” Cooper said, “but I broke my oot inthe accident and couldn’t skate at that level any more. But I could still play rugby andght bulls, and eventually I took on the challenge o clowning. I’ve seen the NFR on TV all my lie, and I’ve been going to (the PRCAs pre-NFR) Convention or years andshown my artwork at the Cowboy Christmas show, so I’ve attended the NFR as a an.But being the rst guy rom Canada to work the barrel there, I elt like I had the weight o the nation on myshoulders. It’s been my mission since I was a little kid to represent my country at something. I just didn’t think it would be as a clown!“People told me to view it as any other rodeo, but it truly isn’t. The coolest moment or me was the daybeore it started. I walked down the tunnel into the arena and just stood there; there wasn’t another soul around. That one moment o stillness was a great help in preparing or the next 10 days o chaos. It’s a good kind o chaos, but the schedule is crazy and there’s a lot happening all the time, plus I had my artwork booth and about20 riends and amily members who came down rom Canada. I just wanted to put everything into slow motionto make it last longer.”Cooper said it wasn’t the technical demands o the NFR that were especially challenging. “The NFR is alimited role or a barrelman. The job is mainly to get the crowd up and ready or the bull riding, and i there areno problems during the event, you just get to watch it rom a very good seat – in the barrel. But getting to doit was very exciting – it’s the height o our proession. All those little rodeos I did in the pouring rain when therewere 10 people in the stands … it was all worth it. And or the rst time in my lie, I let Las Vegas with money,so that was good, too.”
2011 Wrangler NFR Personnel 
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