Barrel Man Troy Lerwill

still shot lerwillFans at the Buffalo Bill Rodeo will get the pleasure of seeing six-time PRCA Clown of the Year Troy Lerwill, the “Wild Child,” in action during each night of rodeo. Lerwill, from Payson, Utah, will entertain fans with his signature act: jumping a Ram truck and trailer, a sixty-foot span, with his dirtbike.

Lerwill grew up in a rodeo family but got his first motorcycle (“against my dad’s will, but my mother was OK with it”) at age eleven. He spent six years racing professionally, then a short tenure racing mountain bikes, and bullfighting before he began as a rodeo clown.

Now, twenty years into his rodeo clown career, he estimates he’s made that sixty foot jump about 2,600 times. It never gets old. “I love doing that motorcycle act,” he said. “I’ve built an identity basically around myself as that. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s a part of my life.”

Jumping sixty feet in the air with no landing ramp is not without its hazards, however. Five years ago he broke his right ankle, and two years ago, he broke both ankles, both times in the landing. The double break put him in a wheelchair for two weeks, then walking boots. But he’s back to normal, and making jokes about it. “The first time I jumped (the truck and trailer) I was much taller. Now I get shorter every year.”

In his spare time, Lerwill loves to ride his mountain bike at state parks around the country. “I’m an avid bicyclist, and I take my bicycles and my mountain bike everywhere I go.”

NEBRASKAland Days June 12-22, 2019