Each year, the PRCA recognizes and awards a group of highly skilled and enthusiastic nominees for their highest honors bestowed at the annual PRCA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas held before the start of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
The Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour is fortunate to have the pleasure of working with many of these professional rodeo personnel nominees and we would like to congratulate them and wish them luck.
The selections are made from a ballot process for eligible voting PRCA members. The winners for each category will be announced at the PRCA Awards Banquet at the South Point in Las Vegas on Dec. 5.
Music Director of the Year Nominee
Jill Franzen Loden - Riverton, Wyoming
Working 36 events a year totaling 121 performances Jill Franzen Loden loves being a music director. Citing “Don’t stop Believin’ (Journey) as her favorite song, the ultra-talented rodeo and bull riding DJ admits she’s an 80’s classic rock nerd.
“Entertaining crowds and enhancing the sport of professional rodeo through great sound and music, it’s my passion and what I love most about my job,” said Loden
Franzen hails from a famous rodeo stock contracting family, Powder River Rodeo Company and can trace her roots to a mishap one weekend some 19 years ago.
Clown of the Year Nominees
Cody Sosebee - Charleston, Arkansas
The 2017 man in the barrel at the NFR and 2018 Clown Act of the Year Nominee, is known nationwide as the fan-friendly face - stopping in Cheyenne to give fans rides in a mini chariot pulled by ponies, taking selfies along the parade route, and forever grateful for the life he leads and how rodeo has affected his entire outlook.
“I am thankful every day for the life I lead, traveling in and out, jumping on plane and being in Las Vegas one day and back in my home town a day later, all in the name of making people happy and I’m grateful I have a platform to use for good.”
Sosebee says his secret weapon when coming up with jokes or acts is everyday life.
“I’m a glass half full guy and try to see the positive in everything, but the daily mess ups are what’s funny to me and is what helps me so much,” said the guy who says he is part of the “chicken mafia.”
How does he describe his first NFR appearance (2017)?
“I had so much fun, I can’t describe it,” he said. “Everything was 10 times more than I thought it would be. It was 10 times more work, 10 times more fun, and 10 times more gratifying.”
Sosebee says the best part is working and producing a clean family comedy show intertwined with one of the most traditional sports in America, my teachers said I would never make it being a clown - but I’m proving them wrong.”
Cody Sosebee and Tuff Hedeman have been working together since – well no one really remembers when - but it’s been over 10 years. He can be seen in the arena and on the concourse making people laugh again beginning in January on the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour.
“My job is to always make sure people are having fun.”
JJ Harrison - Walla Walla, Washington
Also nominated for 2018 PRCA Clown Act of the Year, 43 year old JJ Harrison is an off the cuff style clown and spur of the moment trickster. He is a combo of his bigger than life experiences including graduating from Washington State University and he earned a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University. He can be found on the motivational speaker trail and various voice talent endeavors when he is not entertaining rodeo fans.
JJ Harrison has been a PRCA clown since 2006. He is known for his sumo suit, queen run, and walk and talk antics. He keeps the fans on the edge of their seats in Las Vegas at the Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding and before he takes to the dirt you can find him taking selfies and singing autographs on the concourse with fans. JJ Harrison grew up in Okanogan, Wash., where his love for the rodeo began. It wasn’t until high school when JJ Harrison decided to actually get involved in the events at the rodeo.
He took his passion to college with him and joined the rodeo team as a bull and bronc rider at Washington State University. “I gradually realized that I was a wimp and I migrated to team roping.” Harrison said. “I had a lot of fun and success roping over the years, but it wasn’t a career I could have.”
Harrison taught science and social studies at a Walla Walla middle school for eight years. “I think I enjoyed that middle school humor almost more than the kids.” After a few years of balancing teaching and rodeo, Harrison was forced to choose between the two.
Harrison believes that his time in the classroom has influenced his act as a rodeo clown. “I’m a ball of energy that is quick witted and eager to find humor in every situation. I think it stems from natural ability and my experience in the classroom.”
Harrison will describe himself as a ball of dancing energy that will be all over the arena.
“I think comedy and comic relief are both a very important part of rodeo and its entertainment value.”
Justin Rumford - Ponca City, Oklahoma
2012 PRCA Clown of the Year, and the 2014 NFR man in the barrel, Justin Rumford is a third-generation rodeo cowboy and considered by his peers as one of the top barrelmen in the PRCA.
His grandfather, Floyd Rumford, started Rumford Rodeo Company in the 1950’s and ran the company until he was laid to rest in 1998. Justin’s father, Bronc Rumford, took it over and still raises rodeo stock in the small town of Abbyville, Kansas.
Justin has seen both sides of the arena working working as a contestant and pick-up man in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association since 1999. He qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo, in steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding, three of his four years of college. In 2010, his rodeo career took a different direction when he was asked by a friend to fill-in as the barrel-man for a rodeo in Kansas. One month later, he received his PRCA card to be a rodeo entertainer and he’s been on the vertical rise ever since! He returned to the CNFR as a clown in 2011 and 2012.
Justin has been blessed with a deep family rodeo history and a bright future in the sport he loves, “the greatest show on dirt.”
Snapchatting Rumford was a super-sized hit at the 2018 Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding in Huron, South Dakota as he entertained the arena level VIP’s for two nights.
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For more information contact Leigh Ann Schroeder, 940.902.1112 or firstname.lastname@example.org; www.tuffhedemanbullriding.com.