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  • Paul Cooley

Rodeo Clown Brinson James at Gerry Rodeo 2022

It sounds like a mistake, but it’s not. One of the nation’s top young rodeo clowns, Brinson James, is only 28 years old, but he has been performing in professional rodeos for 26 of those years. and he is bringing those 22 years if rodeo experience to the 77th annual Gerry Rodeo for four performances, August 3-6.


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 weekend year-round across the nation as well as Canada and Australia. Today 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 he had a variety of things in his act including trick roping, whip tricks, dancing, acrobatics, and a dog named “Reride” that does all sorts of tricks. However, he says that 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 as the announcer for the Gerry Rodeo for the past 10 years, Greg Simas, was the announcer at the rodeo where Brinson’s dad was injured ten 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 77th year and attracts more than 250 professional cowboys and cowgirls from more that 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 with 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 as well as presale tickets is available at the rodeo website www.gerryrodeo.org or by phone at (716) 985-4847 or 1-888-985-4847

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