Burt Davis has been working the professional rodeo circuit for a while now – racking-up thousands of miles a year traveling from event to event, taking his hits from angry bulls and nursing his bruises with the best of them.
Davis is a cowboy true and through, but when he strides into the rodeo arena, fans won´t see him atop a bucking bronc or bareback on a snorting bovine.
Davis is known as the “Coppertown Clown” and his job is two-fold: protect the cowboys and entertain the crowd with his comedy acts.
“Once I get my make-up on, I go nine-0 until we say good night ,” Davis explains.
He´s originally from the Mother Lode, growing up in Oakdale and living in Copperopolis for about 12 years.
Davis is a little nervous about coming back to the Mother Lode Round-Up Rodeo Saturday. He does quickly admit, though, “I´m really excited to be here. But, it´s really hard to impress your hometown crowd.”
During a lull in the action, Davis jumps into action. “That´s where I come in there with my humor or my acts,” he says. His “serious job” happens during the bull riding. “I´m out in the island of safety. I´m in the barrel so if a bull comes out too far, and if a cowboy or a bull fighter gets in danger they can hide behind the barrel. The cowboy can do a duck and dive and get that extra second to run to the fence.”
The Mother Lode Rodeo kicks-off the late spring “Tornado Chasing” tour for Davis and his 64-foot trailer of animals and equipment. After packing up Sunday, he leaves here and goes to Horton, Nebraska then on to Decatur, Texas. Then it´s Oklahoma andGeorgia before coming back to the northwest around July 4th with numerous events in Oregon and the rest of the nation.
“I´m busy from January to the first of December,” Davis admits. “This year we´ve already preformed in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and now we´re back out here.”
Rodeo fans have probably seen Davis do his thing live on national television. “Last Sunday night I was on OLN (the Outdoor Live Network) for the PBL bull fights. Davis´s star dog Kelsey is featured on a National Geographic TV documentary called “Dogs With Jobs.”
To see some of the video clips, Davis says fans should to go to: url:www.coppertownclown.com” >coppertownclown.com.
What does a rodeo clown do on the rare weeks off when he´s back at home? “I just usually try to lay on the couch and just rest because I travel 50,000 to 60,000 miles a year and I don´t get to fly to none of the events because I packing all my animals,” he laments. “So it´s all driving miles.”
Davis wouldn´t trade it for the world. “I´m living a childhood dream,” he says.