BIG SPRING, Texas – For decades, rodeo has been home to some of the funniest acts in the world of entertainment.
For the last few years, none has been better than Keith Isley, and he’s got the hardware to prove it. Each of the last two ProRodeo seasons, Isley has earned the coveted Triple Crown by sweeping the awards in all the categories for which he is recognized – Clown of the Year, Coors Man in the Can and Comedy Act of the Year.
He’ll bring his knee-slapping comedy act to the three performances of the 78th Big Spring Cowboy Reunion and Rodeo, set this year for 8 p.m. Thursday, June 16-Saturday, June 18. Not only that, but the ever-entertaining Isley will show off the tremendous athleticism that has made him one of the most sought-after acts in ProRodeo for decades.
Eight times in his career, Isley has been named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Act of the Year, and he’s earned the Clown of the Year honor five times.
“There’s a reason why Keith has won so many awards in the PRCA, and that’s because he works at his trade each and every day,” said Pete Carr, owner of Carr Pro Rodeo, the stock contractor in Big Spring. “Keith doesn’t have a lazy bone in his body; he is always reinventing himself. He is definitely on the cutting edge when it comes to the entertainment business. I’ve been watching Keith perform for a long time, and he is one of the few people that no matter how many times I’ve seen an act, I make sure I’m watching when he enters the arena.”
Isley isn’t the only specialty act at this year’s rodeo, though. Blake Goode of Ravenna, Texas, will pull off his variation of Roman riding when he mounts Geronimo and Apache, two Brahma bulls.
“I Roman ride off them and put them through a routine,” said Goode, who has been around rodeo all his life but has focused on the specialty act business for 13 years. Goode still ropes and wrestles steers, just like he did when he started out in the game, but he came up with the act when he married into a family of entertainers.
“I don’t work with the horses anymore, just the Brahmas. I quit the horses except the roping on them and bulldogging on them.”
Goode said there’s something appealing to his work with the bulls as compared to his equine partners.
“You’re dealing with twice the animal,” he said. “A Brahma is known for its meanness and stubbornness. You need a lot more patience. Plus, there’s a risk factor, the fact that you’re dealing with a 2,400-pound animal.”
Carr likes what he sees in Goode, and he believes the rodeo-savvy fans in Big Spring will, too.
“When you’ve seen how Blake works these bulls, you’ll be pretty amazed,” Carr said. “Any time you can take an animal like that and put it around fire, you know you’ve got some good stuff there. I’m pretty sure Big Spring will love what they see.”