99 KZ Country: Interview with Robbie Hodges
Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo in Phillipsburg is July 31, August 1 and August 2, 2014.
Rodeo Clown and Barrelman Robbie Hodges visited the KHAZ Studio to talk with Theresa Trapp.
ROLLING WITH THE FLOW
Rodeo barrelman to entertain fans, protect bullfighters Phillipsburg
Robbie Hodges is living the dream.
He’s seeing the world, doing what he wants, making people laugh, all while hanging out in rodeo arenas across the country.
The Cave Springs, Georgia man will serve as barrelman and rodeo clown for this year’s Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo in Phillipsburg July 31-August 2. In other words, he “works” the barrel, moving it to its best spot to provide an oasis of safety for the bull riders and bullfighters. And if there are slow spots during the rodeo, he fills them with jokes and back-and-forth banter with the announcer.
He got his start in rodeo as a bareback rider, but he was always the jokester, the funny guy. “I hid my fear through funny comedy,” he says. “When I got ready to retire (from bareback riding), I wanted to be a barrelman. Fourteen illustrious years later, here I am,” he jokes.
He loves cracking jokes, even at his own expense. “I hate to say it, but I’m good. I’m not like (Seattle Seahawks football player) Richard Sherman,” he cracks. “I try to be cool. Hey, I’m a successful man. I live in an RV.”
He’s rodeoed at every corner of the country, from California to Davie, Florida, to New York, and Puyallup, Washington. And he’s won awards for his work. Robbie was the 2010 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo barrelman and an alternate the next year. He has been nominated for some of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association’s highest honors: Clown of the Year twice, Comedy Act of the Year twice, and Coors Man in the Can four times.
In Phillipsburg, he’ll provide the laughs and banter with the announcer while cowboys are getting ready to compete. He loves the “walk and talk” – being in the arena, cracking jokes during slow times. “I like spontaneity and comedy. I like quick and funny.” Robbie comes up with his material off the cuff. “Most of my stuff is from the situation and the crowd. Ninety percent is from the crowd, and the other twelve percent I make up,” he jokes.
It’s Robbie’s second time in Phillipsburg. He worked the PBR in 2013 there.
He loves what he does, even when he jokes about it. “I don’t get too caught up in rodeo. I stop off at them because they pay, but the rest of the time, I’m seeing the world, playing the guitar and hanging out.”
The Phillipsburg Rodeo is July 31-August 1-2 at 8 pm each night. Tickets are $15 for reserved adult seats and $11 for children ages 3-12. General admission tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets are available at Heritage Insurance in Phillipsburg (785-543-2448). For more information, visit KansasBiggestRodeo.com.
Join fans of 99 KZ Country on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/99KZCountry