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Rodeo Personnel and Special Acts for Kansas' Biggest Rodeo 2018

Randy Corley
After a one year hiatus, Randy Corley returns to take care of the duties behind the microphone.
The Silverdale, Wash. man was absent from Phillipsburg in 2017, as he was inducted into the
ProRodeo Hall of Fame the same weekend as the rodeo. And he’s grateful he’s back: “They
didn’t fire me when I didn’t come last year,” he laughed. Wayne Brooks filled in for him while
he was gone.
Last year’s rodeo weather was unusually mild, with highs in the low 80s, while Corley was in
Colorado Springs for the induction, where highs were in the nineties. Phillipsburg “had the nicest
weather they’ve had in 35 years,” he said. “Wayne Brooks said, ‘Geez, it’s nice here,’ and I said,
‘Shut up,’” he laughed.
His wife Michelle travels with him, working as a timer at the rodeos where Randy announces.
They travel in an RV, making it easier for them to be on-site at rodeos. They spend much of the
winter in Texas, flying home between events. They use Colorado as their summer drop-off point,
leaving the RV in storage when it’s not needed and flying out of Denver. “We spend more time
in the bus than we do at home,” Corley said. “I’ve told Michelle we really could downsize (in
Washington.) We could have a nice condo where you unplug the toaster when you walk out the
door, and there’s no yard work. But we have not done that yet.”
He enjoys the community of Phillipsburg so much he could see himself living there. “It’d be a
great place to live if they had an airport you didn’t have to drive to.”

Phillipsburg holds a special place in his and Michelle’s heart, as they often brought their
children, Cole and Brittany, to the rodeo. “I borrowed a baby crib (in Phillipsburg) for both of
our kids when they were born, and both kids learned how to swim at the pool at the Mark V. If
there was a rodeo the kids grew up at, it was in Phillipsburg.”
Corley, who has won the PRCA’s Announcer of the Year award 12 times and has called the
action at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo seventeen times, loves coming to Phillipsburg.
“It’s the rodeo committee and the fans, especially the Coors Rowdies” who make it fun. “It’s a
great celebration for the county, for Phillipsburg, and the surrounding area.”

John Harrison
John Harrison will work as the barrelman at Kansas Biggest Rodeo.
The Soper, Okla. man’s pedigree is true rodeo. He’s the grandson of world champion bull rider
Freckles Brown and grew up swinging a trick rope in his mom and dad’s living room, breaking
lamps and knocking plaster off the wall. “Mom was always cussing us,” John said of him and his
In Phillipsburg, he’ll provide the “walk and talk” – the banter between himself and announcer
Randy Corley. He’ll also serve as the barrelman during the bull riding, providing an oasis of
safety for bull riders and the bullfighters, in case an upset bull heads their way.
John loves bantering with the crowd and uses current events as topics. Nobody in the crowd is
safe from his jokes. “I like to have fun with what’s going on,” he said. “Somebody on a cell
phone, talking during a rodeo, everybody can relate to that. I do a lot of off-the- cuff stuff, ad lib,
and it keeps it fresh for me as well.”
John’s wife Carla and their three children often travel with him in the summer. Son Caz
sometimes is part of his act, and, like his dad, is a natural at making people laugh.
This is not John’s first trip to Phillipsburg; he worked the rodeo in 2006 and 2007.

Tim Lepard
Fans are in for a real treat when specialty act Tim Lepard comes to Phillipsburg.
Known also as “Wild Thang”, Tim and his team of monkeys riding border collies (Team Ghostriders) will bust into town with their popular act.
Tim, who hails from Pontotoc, Miss., has monkeys trained to ride border collies. You might have seen them already; they’ve performed during halftime shows for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Denver Broncos, the New York Giants and at NBA and NHL games.
A former bullfighter, Tim always wanted to have a pet monkey. When the opportunity came, he acquired one and trained it to ride a border collie.
Now he has five of them, three of which will be in Phillipsburg. Sam is the oldest, the “king monkey,” as Tim calls him. Meglynn is a sweetheart, Little E is a “lover,” he says, and Bubba and Happy round out the crowd.
He dresses the monkeys in vests, chaps, and cowboy boots, and brings sheep into the arena. The collies round up the sheep, with the monkeys as cowboys on their backs. They are the only entertainment company in the United States that does what they do.
Tim loves what he does. “I love to see fans’ faces when I bring the monkeys out. They’re amazed. They can’t believe what they’re seeing.”

Dusty Tuckness
For the tenth year, one-half of the bullfighting duties at the Phillipsburg Rodeo will be taken care
of by Dusty Tuckness.
The Wyoming man has been the PRCA’s Bullfighter of the Year every year since 2010, and has
worked the Wrangler NFR every year since 2009.
Tuckness, who is 32 years old, enjoys working out. He’s fashioned some of his own workout
regimens, involving core, cardio and balance, including cross fit and circuit training.
Even though he’s at the pinnacle of his sport, he’s still learning. “You can never be too good to
not learn something or figure something out,” he said. “You need a willingness to be coachable,
and you need to see growth and improvements day in and day out.”
Tuckness has his rodeo models, and lists Joe Baumgartner, Darrell Diefenbach, Mike Matt,
Frank Newsom and Rob Smets among them. “There are a lot of guys that are very accomplished
and have done a lot of things and are inspiring to be around and learn from.” But his own peers
also inspire him and keep him grounded. He’s good friends with Nathan Harp, Nate Jestes and
Cody Webster, and they push each other. “We share videos and workouts and we have a lot of
positive vibes, but we don’t go lightly on each other. We spur each other on and we dang sure let
each other know if we’re slacking, that we need to pick up the pace.”
Even though he’s won the Bullfighter of the Year award eight times, he doesn’t let it go to his
head. “I try to keep my mind right about it,” he said, “whether I’m in the gym, the arena, or
watching film. I know that God has blessed and equipped me with the ability to do this, so I
don’t try to over think stuff. I just try to be consistent every day.”
He works about 180 performances a year and spends the much of the year based out of central
Oklahoma, closer to the rodeos, although he considers Meeteetse, Wyo. as home.

Weston Rutkowski
For the third year, “the beard” will show up in Phillipsburg.
“Fear the Beard,” Weston Rutkowski, will work as a bullfighter at Kansas Biggest Rodeo.
Rutkowski, who hails from Cleburne, Texas, has been fighting bulls for the past seven years.
The 29 year-old cowboy played college football for a short time, but when he realized he
wouldn’t be seeing much playing time, switched over to bullfighting.
Like many of his colleagues, he’s careful about his athletic training, working out twice a day
when he’s home. In the morning, it’s footwork drills and cardio, and in the evening, he lifts.

He’s also careful about what he eats. “I used to not be aware of it, but now I am,” Rutkowski
said. “I’m trying to make my career as long as possible, so the healthier I am, the better off I
am.” He tries to stay away from fried foods, and he doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but he’s
also realistic. “A man can only say no to Mexican food so many times,” he joked.
On the road, he loves to golf and last year played golf in Phillipsburg each day. He enjoys
coming to Phillipsburg. “It reminds me a lot of home. It’s a small community, where everybody
knows everybody, and they’re excited that the rodeo’s in town.”
To get through all night drives, Rutkowski grabs a bag of salsa verde Doritos and a Red Bull.
“When I’m on the road late at night, and I can’t stop and eat healthy, that’s what I grab. I can
drive all night” with those.
He loves what he does. “I love this job. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m getting
to live my dream.”

Beutler & Son Rodeo Co. – stock contractor

The Beutler family has been coming to Phillipsburg with their excellent bucking horses and bulls for over a half-century.

Since 1960, Linn, Elra, Jiggs, and now Bennie and Rhett has made the trip north from their home in Elk City, Oklahoma, with their rigs.

Their horses and bulls are known for how well they buck. Wound Up, a saddle bronc, was voted the 2017 Saddle Bronc of the Year, and Killer Bee, another saddle bronc, was the top saddle bronc for the 2013 and 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeos.

At the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Beutler and Son Rodeo Co. had six bareback horses, four saddle bronc horses, and four bulls selected to buck.

Rhett works alongside his dad Bennie, and now the fifth generation of Beutlers: Rhett and his wife Tracy’s kids Taylor and Jake, are helping out.

When the kids, ages fourteen and eleven respectively, aren’t busy with school and sports, they’re helping out on the ranch. “They help work bulls and cows,” Rhett said, “and they pick out the ones they like.”

The kids are good help. They are on horseback, helping move cattle and horses, and Rhett can send Taylor out to do jobs while he’s within sight.

Rhett loves coming to Phillipsburg. “We look forward to coming here every year,” he said. “They’re a great group of guys and so hospitable.”