Sosebee will get to experience the rodeo’s unique personality this year
GOODING, Idaho – In his years as a professional rodeo clown, Cody Sosebee has received many accolades.
He’s been named the PRCA’s Comedy Act of the Year and has been selected to work the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s premier championship that takes place each December in Las Vegas. He’s been recognized as one of the top clowns and top barrelmen in the business.
But he has yet to experience the Gooding ProRodeo. He’ll get his first shot at it this year, with performances set for Thursday, Aug. 18-Saturday, Aug. 20, with a special “Beauty and the Beast” performance on Wednesday, Aug. 17. All performances take place at 8 p.m. at Andy James Arena.
“Sose is going to be wowed by the crowd,” said Steve Kenyon, the rodeo’s announcer since 2002. “He’s going to be entertained by the fact that they are there to be entertained.”
Those words are the reasons why so many elite cowboys, cowgirls and personnel love what they experience every year in this southern Idaho community. It’s why so many return to town annually to be part of the fun and frivolity for which Gooding’s rodeo is so well known.
This will be Sosebee’s first trip to this rodeo, and he’s already looking forward to it. He brings a rotund sense of humor, a larger-than-life personality and an ability to make fun of himself when given the chance.
On top of that, he packs a trailer-load of acts to keep fans on the edges of their seats.
“My greatest honor has been getting chosen by the bull riders to work the NFR in 2017, which was followed up close by winning the Comedy Act of the Year in 2018,” he said. “I didn’t expect either one. I was an old guy in my career choice. Just walking down the hallway at the NFR and bumping into those bull riders, it made me feel good because they thought of me to help protect them at the biggest rodeo they’re ever going to be part of.
“When I run into a top-end NFR bull rider and know he took time to vote for me, that’s something I’ll have with me the rest of my life. The money’s been spent, but getting acknowledged for your craft really humbles me.”
His humble nature comes from his small-town Arkansas raising. He lives in a town of 2,500 people, and he cherishes that time he spends with them. He also loves getting on the road and sharing his experiences with his “rodeo family.”
By being able to work an event like the Gooding Pro Rodeo, he knows he’ll get to hang out with ProRodeo’s elite, the sport’s biggest stars.
“You’re getting to walk out there with the best in the PRCA,” Sosebee said. “It’s like being asked to play pickup ball with Michael Jordan.”
He understands that, because he’s worked so many of the biggest rodeos in the world. He’s a fixture at the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days, and he’s clowned at rodeos all across America. He now gets to add Gooding to his list of accomplishments.
Now in his 50s, Sosebee has no plans to stop doing what he loves.
“We’ve had great role models to follow like Ted Kimzey, Rudy Burns, Lecile Harris, people we’ve held high and respected,” he said. “I’ve seen them still do funny stuff after 50 years old.
“My biggest challenge is I want to know what I’m doing is still effective. When it’s not, that’s when I’ll start slowing down and still do it at a professional level. I don’t ever want to go in with an amateur attitude. People are paying their hard-earned money to see us, and they deserve a pro level.”
Sosebee has the right attitude and personality for rodeo, and it’s going to be something to witness once he goes to work in southern Idaho.
“He has a down-home feel, and let’s face it: Gooding is small-town America,” Kenyon said. “Sose and Gooding are going to get along well together.”