GERRY – Keith Isley, one of professional rodeo’s most versatile and award-winning performers, is making his first trip to Gerry to entertain rodeo fans with his skills as clown and barrel man in addition to specialty acts featuring his trained horses for four performances, July 31 – August 3.
Isley, who makes his home in North Carolina, has been entertaining rodeo fans for more than 40 years and has collected an outstanding number of awards during his travels across the nation. He has been nominated 10 times as “PRCA Clown of the Year”, winning that honor five different years. He has also been nominated 11 times as the “Coors Man in the Can” and has taken that award five different times.
Other honors include being named “Comedy Act of the Year” five times and “Specialty Act of the Year” nine times in national competition. He was chosen as the “Barrel Man” at the National Finals Rodeo in 2009 and has performed seven times at the First Frontier Circuit Finals and five times at the Ram National Circuit Finals.
At age fifteen, Isley got started in rodeo with junior rodeos and high school rodeos, where he rode bareback broncs and bulls. That led to professional competition, but he reluctantly began working as a clown. At the time, he says he was rather shy and was intimidated by the crowds, but he found that the baggy pants and makeup provided a comfort shield. He began adding to his performances with trick roping and animal acts. The result has been a long and successful career. His appearance in Gerry will feature performances by his three trained horses.
After his extensive career of traveling across the nation, Isley says he is beginning to cut back on the numbers of rodeo invitations he accepts, with Gerry being one of only twenty he will be doing this year. He adds that this is far from what he has done in the past years, as he recalls one year in which he left home in March and never got back home for even one day until October.
Isley notes that his performances are never the same as he has a wide variety of acts and often involves spectators chosen from the stands. He says that he has never been to Gerry, but he has heard so much about this rodeo over the years that is anxious to be a part of this historic rodeo, which is celebrating its 75thconsecutive year of bring professional rodeo to Western New York.
The Gerry Rodeo is sponsored by the Gerry Volunteer Fire Department as their only fund-raising venture of the year. The four performances begin nightly at 8:00, Wednesday through Saturday, July 31-August 3, in their arena five miles north of Jamestown, New York. The event also features the traditional barbeque beef dinners served each evening beginning at 5:00 in their air-conditional dining room, as well as a lighted midway with more than 20 vendors offering everything from cotton candy to Western wear.
There will be a free kids’ rodeo at 4:00 on Saturday for ages 3-8 and fireworks will be featured following the Wednesday and Saturday performances.
Additional information is available at the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.orgor by phone at (716) 985-4847 or 1-888-985-4847.