Jason Dent will be at Tuff-N-Nuff Rodeo

‘This will be one of the largest events in our 21 years’

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Clayton Aman, of Laurel, applies rosin to the rope he’ll be using a few minutes later in the bull riding event at the 2016 Tuff-N-Nuff Winter Series Championship Rodeo at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

The Tuff-N-Nuff rodeo will have a special guest this year when bull riders of all ages gather at the Webster County Fairgrounds for the 21st annual competition.

“This will be one of the largest events in our 21 years doing this because we have a celebrity coming,” Johnny Hopkins, whose family owns the Tuff-N-Nuff Miniature Rodeo Association, said.

Jason Dent, an Iowa native and professional rodeo clown, will be on hand for the two-night event on April 13 and 14.

The action begins at 7:30 p.m. on both nights. Tickets are $13 for adults at the door. Children age 6 and under are admitted for free.

Dent’s rodeo clown name is WhistleNut. He rides an 1,800 pound rodeo bull named Ole.

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Lane Miller is just a split second away from the arena dirt as he rides in the Mini Bare Back event at the 2016 Tuff-N-Nuff Winter Series Championship Rodeo at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

“He’s been all over the country performing as a professional rodeo clown,” Hopkins said. “He used to ride bulls back in the day. He has a lot of energy and is probably one of the nicest guys in the country.”

Dent is known for his appearance on the popular television show ”Big Brother,” which airs on CBS.

The show follows a group of people who live together in the same house. Each week, the houseguests vote someone out of the house, according to information from CBS.

“The ‘Big Brother’ show has made him pretty popular,” Hopkins said. “He was one of the most liked people on the show.”

The last person in the house wins $500,000.

“He made it all the way to third place in the show,” Hopkins recalled. “He took it all the way to the top. He’s a huge celebrity known all over the world.”

Dent, along with other bull riders, will be meet and greet attendees during autograph sessions. Face painting will also be offered to kids.

“There will be contestants from eight different states, as young as 3 all the way up to professional riders,” Hopkins said.

Six age groups will compete: tiny tots, 4 and under; pee wees, 5- and 6-year-olds; juniors, 7 to 10 years old; seniors, 11 to 14 years old; super seniors, 15 to 19 years old; and open, which is any age.

Younger competitors ride miniature bulls, which are 48 inches or smaller.

Championship belt buckles will be awarded to the top bull riders and saddles will be presented to the highest point earner in every age group.

Hopkins said it’s important for kids to get off to a good start.

“I like to see kids get started and watch them progress one ride at a time,” he said. “Build their confidence up one ride at a time.”

He added, “We have had so many kids come out of this program that are at a professional level now. We truly are building the future of rodeo.”

The Tuff-N-Nuff rodeo will also determine the winners of the Winter Championship Series, Hopkins said.

Hopkins, a three-time state bull riding champion, hopped on his first bull at 8 years old in Dayton. He said there’s nothing quite like it.

“It’s the biggest adrenaline rush you’ll ever have in your entire life,” he said. “If you do it once, you’ll want to do it again. It’s just the fact that it’s the most dangerous sport in the world. You are trying to conquer a 2,000 pound animal for 8 seconds, and it’s a lot harder than it looks. But once you get it down and stay consistent there’s no better feeling than knowing you can ride with the best of em’.

Hopkins has retired from bull riding.

“I rode for 24 years I was pretty fortunate,” he said. “I broke my nose once and my wrist once and that was about it. But if you stay on top of them, you don’t get hurt.”

The rodeo is a chance to bring family entertainment to the area, Hopkins said.

“Being able to bring good family clean entertainment to Webster County and the Fort Dodge area is huge,” he said.

For more information find the Tuff-N-Nuff Miniature Rodeo Association on Facebook.

Tuff-N-Nuff rodeo

Where: Webster County Fairgrounds

When: April 13 and 14

Time: 7:30 p.m. each night

Cost: $13 for adults at the door, children age 6 and under are admitted for free