Shawn Stutzman

Emily Hemphill/SCI

Shawn Stutzman, a rodeo clown from Staplehurst, gets the crowd cheering before bull riding at the Hoot Gibson Memorial Rodeo May 31. Stutzman has been a clown for 23 years.

Good morning-it's Tuesday, June 11. Here are some news and events to know about as you make your way through the week. 

Stutzman the rodeo clown 

Not everyone can do their job from the inside of a Coors beer barrel.

Shawn Stutzman does.

The Staplehurst resident is Nebraska’s only rodeo clown with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association—a group he was accepted into just this year.

“Stutzy,” as he’s known, has been a clown since 1996.

“My whole family’s been in rodeo,” he said. “I’m the only clown. My grandpa rode rough stock events. Dad rode bulls and broncs.”

So did other relatives and Stutzman himself for several years.

Though he’s a transplant from Iowa living in Staplehurst with his wife, Heather, Stutzman said he doesn’t clown for many rodeos in Nebraska.

He was in Tekamah last weekend, May 31 and June 1, for the 60th annual Hoot Gibson Memorial Rodeo.

Next, he’ll head to rodeos in Kansas, South Dakota and other parts of the Midwest.

To become a part of the PRCA, Stutzman had to go through a sort of audition process.

“You have to do five rodeos. They come and watch you, you get judged,” he said.

The staff working each rodeo gets a survey to complete on their experience with the clown.

“Once you get approved for that, you’re in for life,” he said.

Stutzman performed at his first official event as a PRCA member at the beginning of May in Haysville, Kansas.

He said he performs at 60 to 70 rodeos a year—though it’s not his full-time job.

By day, he works at Tempte in David City, manufacturing grain trailers.

At his most recent show, Stutzman fought bulls and entertained the crowd between divisions, both with a fireworks show (for the rodeo’s 60th anniversary), and a nunchuck routine, among other antics.

“I learned that when I was a little kid. My neighbor knew karate, so he taught me,” Stutzman said.

More from his acts can be found on Facebook and YouTube.

Happening this week:

An Alzheimer's support group meets the second Tuesday of every month. Tonight the group will meet at 7 p.m. at Brookdale Heartland Park. 

An alumni meeting for Ulysses and surrounding school areas will meet this evening at the rec center in Ulysses at 7 p.m. Planning will begin for the 2020 reunion during the event.

A grief support group will meet at 5 p.m. tonight at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. The meetings take place every second Tuesday of the month. Call (402) 362-7739 to register. 

A piano concert given by Suzie Plitz will take place at the Seward Senior Center tomorrow, beginning at 1 p.m. Plitz is an East Butler High sophomore and daughter of Lonnie Plitz. She will perform classical music after the meal, which will celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. 

Showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the upper 50s.


70° 58°

Showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the upper 50s.

Cloud Coverage:
NE at 9 mph
Chance of Rain:
UV Index:
4 Moderate
05:56:08 AM
09:02:53 PM

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.