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  • Paul Cooley

Gerry Rodeo News - June 2024

It sounds like a mistake, but it’s not. One of the nation’s top young rodeo clowns, Brinson James, is only 30 years old, but he has been performing in professional rodeos for 28 of those years. and he is bringing those years of rodeo experience, featuring trick roping, high energy dancing, humor, and his performing dogs, Reride and Cheddar, to the 79th annual Gerry Rodeo for four performances, July 31 - August 3.


It all began when Brinson’s father tired of competing on the rodeo circuit and, when little Brinson was only two years old, decided to try to become a rodeo clown. Brinson says his father bought a used NASCAR hauler and for the next four years that hauler was their home as they lived on the road, trying to put a “top-notch” comedy act together. From day one at age two, Brinson was a part of their act. Brinson says his earliest part was being brought by his father into arena in a feed sack. His father would open the sack and Brinson would jump out and perform some roping tricks with a kid’s lasso, while his mother would sell lassos in the stands.


Little could they have imagined how their career in rodeo comedy would take off, but by the end of those four years, they were in such demand that they were able to get rid of the old hauler and fly to rodeos where they were booked almost every weekend. Soon Brinson’s father, Clifton Harris, became known as Hollywood Harris, and today is recognized as one of the greatest rodeo clowns of all time. Brinson became an integral part of the team and was nicknamed “The Entertainer”.


Unfortunately, an accident changed everything for the team as Hollywood suffered a badly broken leg at a rodeo in Canada, and Brinson, who was 18 at the time, was asked to fill in. Fortunately, those years of training with his father paid off, and soon Brinson was able head off into a successful career on his own. Today he is in great demand as he works nearly every week year-round across the nation as well as Canada and Australia. In addition, to his many rodeo performances, Brinson has been selected this year to entertain the fans at a number of the Profession Bull Riders (PBR) events at some of the nation’s premier venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York City. He uses his first and middle name as his professional name, leaving the Harris name to his father who is still actively performing.


Brinson says although he has a variety of things in his act, including his two Australian Shepherd dogs, he enjoys most developing a rapport with the fans. He promises to have them “laughing and dancing in the aisles”. He is particularly looking forward to coming to Gerry and working with veteran announcer Greg Simas as Simas was the announcer at the rodeo where Brinson’s dad was injured 12 years ago, and he says that Simas was a big help to him in being successful in his first rodeo without his father beside him.


The Gerry Rodeo is now in its 79th year and attracts more than 250 professional cowboys and cowgirls from more than 30 states to compete for $50,000 in prize money in the eight traditional rodeo events. It also features the “world famous” beef barbeque beef dinners served nightly from 5:00-8:00 in the air-conditioned dining room, along with a midway featuring more than 20 vendors offering everything from Western wear to cotton candy.


The rodeo itself begins at 8:00 each evening, Wednesday through Saturday. Additional information is available at the rodeo website or by phone at (716) 985-4847 or 1-888-985-4847. Presale tickets at reduced rates are available by phone or the website as well at the Country Fair stores in Fredonia and Gerry and the Exit 12 Kwik Fill on Route 60 just north of Jamestown beginning on July 5.


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