Rodeo raises funds for BCSO

Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

After two days of bull riding, calf-roping and barrel-racing fun, the 4th annual Butler County Sheriff’s PCA Championship Rodeo has come to an end.

The rodeo, which began Friday night and closed on Saturday, paid out more than $8,000 in prize money to contestants, which competed in bull riding, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing, bareback riding, team roping, breakaway roping and saddle bronc riding.

This year’s rodeo, which serves as a fundraiser for the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, also featured rodeo clown Reggie Purvis, who proved to be a crowd favorite.

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In professional rodeo, there are generally three types of clowns – the comedy clown, the barrel man and the bullfighter.

Most clowns fall into one of those three types. Purvis is an expert in all three.

He got his start in rodeo as a bull rider at the age of 13. By the time he was 15, the Independence, La., native had transitioned to bull fighting. Just like that, one of rodeo’s most decorated clowns was born.

“(Being a clown) it’s just something I’ve done,” Purvis said. “There’s something about being in the ring, it’s hard to explain. It’s a love – a love of what you do, and I love rodeoing.”

Purvis has been voted the Professional Cowboy Association Bullfighter Clown of the Year and the Rodeo Clown of the Year.

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said the proceeds from this year’s rodeo will be used “for the good of the county.”

The proceeds earned in previous years went toward a number of different programs, including Project Lifesaver.

Project Lifesaver is a bracelet made specifically for individuals suffering from Alzheimers and other related mental illnesses who may wonder away from home, and the bracelet sends out a signal that alerts authorities in such an event.

Funds have also been used for the Yellow Dot program, which involves labeling a vehicle with a yellow dot on the back window that notifies first responders to the scene of an accident that all pertinent information, such as relevant medical conditions and emergency contact information, is kept in the vehicle’s glove compartment.

“Whatever we need to put back into the county to make our job better, that’s what we’ll use the proceeds for,” Harden said. “If we need to buy equipment to make our jobs easier, then we’ll use it for that.  But if it’s something else that we need to do for the community, we’ll use it for that, too.”