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Rodeo clowns, professional hype men for Black Hills Stock Show and other rodeo events

Justin Rumford, a professional rodeo clown, says it’s like being a hype man or even a full-time...
Justin Rumford, a professional rodeo clown, says it’s like being a hype man or even a full-time mascot.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 12:23 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2021 at 8:24 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo featured daily rodeo events with lots of competitors and packed crowds. But what would it be like to be in the arena every night, down in the action?

A rodeo clown knows that feeling. Justin Rumford, a professional rodeo clown, says it’s like being a hype man or even a full-time mascot.

Rumford found his career path 10 years ago while filling in for a rodeo clown once.

Rumford says his job consists of giveaways, playing games, and filling time in the rodeo, a different job description than most might think when they hear clown.

”I always like to break the stereotypes,” said Rumford. “You know a lot of people think rodeo clown and they think like big shoes or squirting flowers, it’s nothing like that. We’re entertainers. You know this is a job, we don’t just show up and volunteer time, this is a career just the same as any other job.”

Rumford has been a part of the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo for four years.

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