The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull. The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather. One of the clowns ran up and started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went crazy.
—  A Facebook posting by a Missouri resident • Discussing an incident he witnessed at the Missouri State Fair, in which a rodeo clown dressed up in an exaggerated Obama mask and was chased by a bull. On Monday, the rodeo clown was banned for life from the fair, and the group that puts on the fair apologized. (ht @AlexJamesFitz)

Obit of the Day: From Rodeos to Robes

Quail Dobbs was a legend in rodeo. Although he tried riding bulls and horses, he found his true calling in the sport in 1962 when one of the rodeo’s clown did not show up for a performance. Mr. Dobbs took over and wouldn’t take his makeup off for 26 years.

As a rodeo clown, Mr. Dobbs’ job was to entertain and distract the crowd as bullfighters tried to safely get riders and animals out of the ring. (Originally the clown and bullfighter were the same role but they eventually were divided into two.) So successful was Mr. Dobbs as a clown that he was named “Clown of the Year” in 1978 and 1988 by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. 

He retired in 1988 and traded in his barrel for a desk to become a Justice of the Peace in Howard County Texas, where he served for another quarter century. Mr. Dobbs retired from the second position in 2013.

He was elected to the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2002 as well as the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame (2004), Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (2003) and the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame (2002) for his work in the ring.

Quail Dobbs was 72 years old when he died on January 15, 2014.

Sources:, KHOU-TV, Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame, and Wikipedia

(Quail Dobbs at Cheyenne Frontier Days in his last public performance in 1998, copyright Eric Lutzens/Denver Post)

Rodeo Cowboy - uniquely American 

Photograph by Bennie Davis

Barrel clown Coty Parker prays before the start of the tenth annual Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association’s World Finals in Glen Rose, Texas. PARFA is a professional rodeo organization founded and made up of military members, retirees, dependents, veterans, and civilian DoD cardholders.

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