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Boys & Girls, Ages 10 & Under
Rick Young, nicknamed the "Agin Cajun” of Tickfaw, Louisiana was an all-state football, basketball, and baseball player and got his start in Rodeo as a member of the Block & Bridle Rodeo Club while attending LSU. He competed in bareback riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping and bull riding before transferring to Southeastern Louisiana University where he graduated in 1959. From there he started his rodeo career as a clown and bullfighter. His natural humor, speed and agility earned him a successful career as a clown and bullfighter and skyrocketed him to the very top of his profession. Comedy, being Rick’s strong suit, has kept him in the business longer than any other clown today. He does not know a stranger, and he’s quick to make a friend.
Rick has won many accolades over his fifty year career. In 1991, 1994, and 1996-97 he was named Coors Man in the Can and named PRCA Clown of the Year in 1980. In 2004, he was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Along with performing in such international prestigious events as the Calgary Stampede, Dodge National Finals, National Rodeo Finals, The Coors Shootout Showdown among many others, Rick has appeared in several movies including Alvarez Kelly, The Great American Cowboy, The Stunt-O-Rama, Everybody’s All American, and In the Heat of the Night. Over a long career, he has worked many major rodeos throughout the US and Canada and in 2009 the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo in Missouri honored him with a customized trailer complete with “Rick Young — Rodeo Clown” emblazoned on it to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of him working the rodeo.
For as long as he can recall, Rudy Burns had been known for two things – being a class clown in his younger years and always having a good joke at his disposal. However, what he wanted to be known for was an eight-second ride on rodeo’s biggest stage. So when a rodeo promoter approached Burns some 45-odd years ago and asked if he wanted in on the next weekend’s rodeo, the funnyman bull rider jumped at the opportunity for another eight seconds of work. The promoter, however, had another idea and it didn’t involve Burns hopping on a bull’s back. He needed a clown. After some hesitation, Burns arrived the next weekend decked out in makeup and overalls with every intention of protecting the bull riders – not competing against them. It was in that moment, at that small-town rodeo, that Burns began a four-and-a-half decade career as a bullfighter, barrel man and rodeo clown.He has been banged up, bruised and beaten, and has had his fair share of injuries in his four-decade career. Throughout the year, Burns steps into rodeo arenas around the country wearing his signature pink cowboy hat, over a rainbow-colored wig and pair of red suspenders that hold up pants much too large for him. “When I hear people say how much fun they had, that’s just as good as a paycheck,” Burns said.
Entertaining the crowd is Burns’ specialty, and he has been awarded the prestigious honor of PRCA’s Barrel Man of the Year in 1995 and 2000. He was also runner-up in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2010. Burns was also asked to work all events at the 1996 National Finals Rodeo and has been voted five-separate times to man the barrel during the PBR World Championships at the annual NFR.
Outside of staring down hundreds of 2,000-pound bulls, Burns and his wife, Betty Jane, have successfully raised two children and are now proud grandparents.