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People That Make It Happen

2011 Grand Marshal – Joe Phillips

Joe Phillips - 2011 Grand Marshal

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse is proud to have Joe Phillips as the 2011 Mother Lode Round-Up Grand Marshal.

Joe was born in 1931 to a farm family in East Prairie, Missouri. Joe moved away from home at the age of 16. He went to work anywhere he could to support himself. Some of the places he worked were Chevrolet Motor Company and AC Spark Plug Company.

In 1951, Joe joined the Army and was in for two years. He achieved the rank of sergeant. Joe moved to California in 1971 where he met and married Dorothy, his wife of over 25 years. Dorothy passed away in 1992. In 1998, Joe married Ana and they have three children, Jesus, Myra and Carlos.

In 1996, Joe joined the Sheriff’s Posse. In the years with the Posse, Joe worked on countless projects, including being General Chairman of the Mother Lode Round-Up in 1994. The Posse can never repay Joe for all the hard work he has done for us.

Joe would like to the wish all the Mothers here today a Happy Mother’s Day!

Rodeo Announcers

Bob Fiest

Bob Feist – Anyone who follows team roping has heard of the BFI. The Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping Classic is the world’s richest team roping. Cowboys competed for over $250,000 in cash and awards at the 2006 "Open to the World" Roping. Bob Feist is the publisher of Ropers Sports News, the "Bible" of team ropers. When time permits you’ll find him on the rodeo circuit as a rodeo announcer or on American Cowboy and Rodeo Sports Page, as well as on various television and radio shows. He announces over 150 performances each year which has included shows from Alabama to Hawaii and from Washington to Arizona. His announcing record also includes the 1980 National Finals Rodeo.

That relaxed, resonant voice coming over the mike is Feist’s stock in trade. He has been greeting people, winning public speaking awards and acting as master of ceremonies from the time he was old enough to open the front door; according to the lady who knows him best, his mother.

Combining his speaking talent and his love of the sport of rodeo, Feist now feels that he is serving the public in a way that he can best utilize his talents. He does over 90% of his shows horseback, as he feels he can better entertain the audience by being closer to them.

Coy Huffman Rodeo Announcer

Coy Huffman – Professional rodeo announcers play a major role in connecting the audience to the action. It takes a unique individual to acquaint the fans with the cowboys, the stock and rodeo itself. Coy Huffman has just the right touch to excite and to get you involved.

Coy has worked all phases of rodeo from behind the chutes to out in front earning a "Gold Card" (lifetime membership) in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

A few years ago Coy began to pursue his life long vision of being a pro-rodeo announcer. Facing many challenges in a highly competitive field, Coy worked the rodeo labor list as chute boss at Cheyenne, Salinas, Dodge City, Colorado Springs, the Cow Palace and Sonora. He took advantage of opportunities to announce or emcee autograph parties, Exceptional Rodeo, high school rodeos and other events.

Coy Huffman and his wife Donna have their headquarters in Tucson, Arizona where they manage their rodeo business and ministry. Donna is a gifted writer, office administrator, driver and trusted counselor to rodeo wives. One of Coy’s favorite sayings is, "Today is the best day of my entire life!" You are going to have a good friend by your side making every effort to help you have a great day at the rodeo. The Mother Lode Round-Up is happy to bring you the voice of Coy Huffman.

Growney Brothers Stock Contractors

Growney Brothers Stock Contractors

Growney Brothers Rodeo Company was born in 1979 when Growney purchased Rodeo Stock Contractors, Inc. and turned professional three years later. He opened eyes at the 1981 National Finals Rodeo when his bareback horse, Dreamboat Annie, teamed with Larry Peabody for an 89-point ride, an arena record that stood until 1995.

In the early days of the company, Growney did all he could to work as many rodeos as he could. He knew how to hustle. "We did all kinds of rodeos," Growney said. "We put on high school, junior and Indian rodeos. In 1982, we did 82 rodeos. We were going hard."
This year, Growney is supplying livestock to 24 rodeos that include four events on the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour and some of the most prestigious and lucrative events on the calendar.

Growney starts his year in April at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, Nevada and then returns home for the Red Bluff Round-Up and Clovis Rodeo. By the end of the year, he will have worn out roads leading up the Pacific coast through Oregon- hitting such spots as St. Paul, Joseph and Canby – and Washington, highlighted by rodeos in Bremerton, Walla Walla and Puyallup.

Over the years, bucking bulls have made the Growney name a force in the rodeo business. Growney gives that credit to his partner, Don Kish, who started raising bulls nearly 20 years ago.

The company inherited ProRodeo Hall of Fame bulls Red Rock and Oscar and countless others. Growney’s Wolfman, who in 1991 teamed with Wade Leslie for the only 100- point ride in rodeo history, has bloodlines to both legendary bulls. Each year, it’s another crop of athletic beasts that can produce 90-point scores for the cowboys who can manage to ride them.

"I thought he was nuts for trying it," said Growney, reminiscing about Kish’s decision to get into the bull breeding business. "We were broke all the time, but that’s what we’re known for now."

2011 Rodeo Clown – Punkintown The Rodeo Clown

Punkintown the Coppertown Rodeo Clown

Clown: Punkintown Smith – 14 years ago Punkintown Smith started his journey in the Rodeo business. He will tell you he has been "rode hard and been put up wet" but there is nothing he would rather be doing than making people laugh from his stage, the rodeo arena.

Punkintown combines clean hometown humor with stories that the young and old can relate to. This has made him a favorite as a conference and motivational speaker and of course rodeos nationwide. His various talents make him more than a clown, he is a rodeo entertainer. "Laughter does good like a medicine," says Punkintown, "and I want everyone to get a good dose."