Professional barrel man and rodeo clown Dennis Halstead is visiting Helena for the first time at the 58th annual Last Chance Stampede and Fair. The 7-time Canadian Pro Rodeo Association “Entertainer of the Year” says he started clowning around in 2004.
Halstead says making folks laugh is rewarding but he also uses his barrel to provide protection for bucked-off bull riders.¬†
“I always tell people it’s like getting thrown in a dryer, turn the dryer on, and throw it down a flight of stairs. Basically, that’s what it’s like to ride a barrel. They estimate it to being hit by a small truck going 25-30 miles an hour. That’s the g-force. So it’s quite hit and quite a wallop you take in that barrel but like I said it’s my job and I live to do it. And for me when I step in an arena I don’t have a script. There’s a million different jokes in this head. I couldn’t tell you what going to come out and that’s basically the gift of being the rodeo clown,” said Dennis Halstead.
Thursday is “Military Appreciation Night” at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds with the PRCA rodeo performance set to begin at 7:30 p.m.¬†