Cody Sosebee
CBR Barrelman


While it is the bull fighters' job to protect the cowboys, it's the barrel man's primary job
to entertain the crowd. It's a job that Cody Sosebee takes very seriously -- for a clown.

"I spend two to three hours everyday day on the internet keeping up with current events
and gossip columns. I think people would be surprised at how much preparation I do to
be able to relate to each individual in the stands. It's not about just going out there and
acting like an idiot for a few hours. I have to go in there with as many bullets in my arsenal
as possible so that I can connect with whatever crowd is there that night, no matter if they
are nine or ninety," explained Sosebee.

During the winter his preparation includes going to dance class at his local gym to learn
the latest dance moves and chat with the girls in class so he can stay hip with "cool" moves
and lingo. His secondary occupation of driving a school bus and substitute teaching provides
endless opportunities to gather material. Sosebee says that everything in life, he sees with humor.
"It can be something as normal as a lady in the grocery store pushing her cart, and my mind
sees that and is already trying to turn it into something funny before I even realize it. I try to see
the humor in life in everything I do and then somehow put a western-type spin on it," says Sosebee.

This native Arkansas rancher could have taken several routes in his life. He had the talent and
opportunity to play collegiate football and professional martial arts. He was also a successful
bareback rider winning the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) Rookie of the
Year title in 1991 and the IPRA Word Championship in bareback riding in 1993. While Sosebee
was always a boisterous prankster of sorts, it was just by chance that the career of a rodeo entertainer
fell into his lap at a three-night rodeo in 1997.

"I was entered in three rodeos over the weekend and had just placed second in the bareback riding
on Thursday night. The clown didn't show up. I was eating breakfast with the stock contractor the
next morning and he asked me if I would be interested in staying and filling in. I told him ‘no way'."
Sosebee and his buddies and spent many an evening making fun of the clowns and blowing their
punch lines. He wasn't about to endure that kind of embarrassment in front of his peers.

"Finally, the contractor said they would pay me the money that they were going to pay the clown
in addition to paying my turn-out fees for the rest of the weekend. I was feeling burned out that
particular weekend, so I decided to stay. I actually had a good time," explained Sosebee.

The clincher was when the checks were handed out at the end of the rodeo. The clowning check
was twice that of his second place in the bareback riding. It was an easy career decision after realizing
that for a guy who was turning 30, gaining weight, and was getting bucked off and injured more often,
he could be funny and get a steady, better paycheck.

"Because I had been a competitor for a long time and knew the rodeo business well, I already knew
how stock contractors liked their shows run. I started out with a lot of arena savvy. I knew what a
good performance should go like," said Sosebee.

Now Sosebee is considered one of the best professional clowns in the business. He began his connection
to the CBR at the 2006 World Championships and continued at the CBR events throughout the year. He
has made close ties to the sound man, Cody Kid, and the announcer, Andy Stewart - a partnership they
call the triple threat.

"We could probably switch roles with each others' lives and families and never skip a beat. We spend so
much time together on the road during the year that we know what each other are thinking. That makes
it easy to put on an exciting show. We are very excited to work together in Vegas this year because it is
what we strive for - to work the biggest and best events," said Sosebee.

"I'm a contracted businessman, so I have to go where I'm hired. I'm lucky enough to be hired by people
I like to be around, and that take care of me by having a good professional event. The CBR has the whole
package - the best group of personnel that work hard, but have fun doing it put together with the best bulls
and the best riders. The CBR has the best package going right now. I jumped at the chance to work for them
and I'm looking forward to many more years of working for the CBR," said Sosebee.

By Julie Hinz