Flint Rasmussen

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Flint Rasmussen in 2007

Flint Rasmussen (January 25, 1968-) is perhaps the most famous "rodeo clown" or "rodeo barrelman" in the sport of bull riding.[1] Rasmussen and his wife, Katie, have two daughters, Shelby and Paige. Flint and his family currently reside in Choteau, Montana in the United States.[2][3]

A former high school math and history teacher, Rasmussen signed a contract with Professional Bull Riders and currently provides entertainment at their events. Long associated with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Rasmussen earned the title of PRCA Clown of the Year for eight consecutive years and won the Coors Man in the Can honors seven times.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

On January 25, 1968, Stan and Tootsie Rasmussen had their youngest child, Flint, in Havre, Montana.[4] Flint Rasmussen grew up in Choteau, Montana, where he started his career in sports [4][5] Rasmussen was an All-State football player and track star for Choteau High School.[4][5] After high school, Rasmussen attended college the University of Montana Western where he completed a double major in history and math as an honor student. As the public radio sports announcer for the UMW Bulldogs, Rasmussen had his voice heard for the first time by an audience.[4] To help with the expenses of college, Rasmussen worked as a barrel clown in western Montana.[4] Rasmussen made his first appearance as a rodeo clown in Superior, Montana, at the age of 19.[4] Flint had his first thoughts about being a rodeo clown when he told his father and brother that he could do better than the rodeo clowns at the time.[4] "I just thought it needed a new energy, a young guy who could relate and get young people to get back to rodeo," Rasmussen said.[5] After he completed college, Flint Rasmussen returned to the town he was born, Havre, and taught at Havre High School in addition to coaching football and track.[5] After two years of teaching and coaching, Rasmussen grew restless and started his career as a barrel man.[5]

Family[edit]

Flint Rasmussen comes from a rodeo family with three other siblings. He has two brothers, Will and Pete, and a sister, Linda White.[4] Flint's parents are Stan and Tootsie Rasmussen.[4] Stan Rasmussen, Flint's father, was a rodeo announcer and his brother, Will, followed in his father's footsteps as a rodeo announcer.[4] Will still is a top PRCA rodeo announcer.[4] Flint met his wife, Katie Grasky, who was a barrel racer, while he was touring.[6] Flint and Katie have two daughters, Shelby and Paige, who also barrel race.[4][6] In Choteau, Montana, Flint and his family run a ranch called the Cowboy's Way Performance Horses.[5]

The Rodeo Clown[edit]

According to the Journal of Folklore Research, "The clown of the rodeo qualifies as the clown of cowboy society, and thus in the rodeo he exaggerates, satirizes, rearranges, and challenges the assumptions upon which the social and natural relations of the cowboy world operate." [7] The rodeo clown goes back to the old western stories, where cowboys play tricks and tell lies.[7] The rodeo clown's main act comes at the last event bull riding.[7] During the ride, the clown faces the bull and plays the bullfighter, but after the ride, resumes his role as the jokester and story teller.[7]

Achievements[edit]

"I think it's hard to come into this sport cold at 25 and try to learn it," Rasmussen said.[6] But that did not stop him. Flint Rasmussen's did his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in 1998.[4] That same year, he was a barrel clown at the Pendleton Round Up, and thirteen years later, in 2011, Rasmussen was induced into the Pendleton Hall of Fame.[4] When Flint signed with the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) in 2005, the contract was exclusive and Rasmussen now only works for the PBR. Before signing with the PBR, Rasmussen was the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Clown of the Year for eight consecutive years.[4] Along with those honors, he was the Coors Man in the Can seven times.[4] Rasmussen not only excels in the arena but also outside it, too. In 2010, Rasmussen made a special appearance as the Pendleton High School graduation speaker.[4]

Late 2000s[edit]

On March 11, 2009, Flint Rasmussen, at the age of 41, suffered a heart attack at his house in Choteau, Montana.[8] After a couple of procedures, he was back in the arena in a short time.[9] "The No. 1 thing that surprised me was the crowd reaction... and I've missed these people," [8][9] Rasmussen said on returning to the arena after his heart attack. Flint got back to the arena with only a few differences; he had to wear a heart rate monitor and had to take a couple breaks when his heart rate jumped above 140.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garner, Joe (2001) "MERRY GRAND MARSHAL PRO RODEO'S TOP CLOWN WILL RULE STOCK SHOW PARADE", Rocky Mountain News, January 7, 2001
  2. ^ a b "Will Rasmussen - Professional Rodeo Announcer" (PDF). Montana TV1. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b MacKinnon, Sally. "Rodeo Clown Flint Rasmussen Talks About His Act, His Success, and What It's Like Working Next to a Raging Bull". The Entertainer (Calgary). Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Pednleton Roundup Hall of Fame". Pendleton and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame". East Oregonian. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Quintana, Chris. "Teacher Quits to be Entertainer". New Mexico Daily Lobo. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d Stoltje, Beverly. "The Rodeo Clown and the Semiotics of Metaphor". Journal of Folklore Research. 
  8. ^ a b c Kusek, Joe. "PBR Barrelman Flint Rasmussen Qucikly Returns From Heart Attack". Billings Gazette. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c Vreeland, Tara. "PBR's Flint Rasmussen Ready for Tulsa". The News On 6. Retrieved 27 March 2012.