SWEETWATER COUNTY— Anyone who attends the local rodeos has probably seen Kolbi “The Rodeo Clown” Hester performing her act throughout the past few years.
Rodeo Clowning Since Halloween of 2014
Hester, 16, started clowning four years ago in 2014 when she was only 12-years-old. Rodeo clowning has become a passion for Hester, but it started off as a Halloween costume.
“I had dressed as a rodeo clown in honor of my namesake, Colby Gines, who happens to be a bull fighter.
“My mom posted a picture of my costume on Facebook, and a few friends of hers that started the R and R Rodeos in Rock Springs invited me to work for them, handing out candy and trying to engage the little kids that were present,” Hester said.
Inspiration for Her Set and Costumes
Hester, who is now an upcoming Junior at Green River High School, has been rodeo clowning since then. She spends quite a bit of her free time researching jokes other rodeo clowns’ acts for inspiration. She watches videos of other clowns’ acts on Facebook and YouTube, and she searches the web for all sorts of different jokes.
“I’ve also been known to save Laffy Taffy wrappers to get the jokes off of them as well,” she said.
As a lifelong fan of superheroes and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, her costumes typically revolve around her favorite characters.
Born to Perform
Though it is not completely out of the ordinary for someone so young to be a rodeo clown, it still takes people by surprise when they see that she is a teenage girl.
“My favorite part about being a rodeo clown would have to be getting to see the look on an audience’s face when they realize how young I am and that I am a female,” Hester said. “Everyone always has such an amazed and slightly confused look.”
Despite being young, Hester was born to perform. She feels very comfortable in front of an audience and enjoys getting them to laugh with her skits and jokes.
Jokes from a Rodeo Clown
Kolbi “The Rodeo Clown” Hester’s Top Three Favorite Jokes:
- What do you call a cow with two legs?
- My boyfriend’s mom.
- What’s the difference between a snowman and a snowwoman?
- The snowballs.
- Did you hear about the new album that Snoop Dog helped Justin Bieber release?
- It’s called Straight Outta Talent.
The Shock Factor
Hester loves using her jokes and sometime shocking acts to get the crowd to laugh and enjoy themselves.
“For my acts that require a costume, I usually have to think to myself, ‘it’s all about the shock factor. Go big or go home.’ And that has led to the use of the mankini in my Red Neck Olympics act, which Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) clown Dennis Halstead shared with me,” Hester said.
Check out Hester’s set from the 2018 Overland Stage Stampede Rodeo below:
Performing with Family
Hester marks working with PRCA clown Dennis Halstead at the Red Desert Round Up in the summer of 2017 as one of her favorite memories as a rodeo clown.
Any act she has done with her family, “which is quite a few of my acts,” Hester said, also make up her favorite memories.
Hester’s younger brother loves helping with her acts because he gets to mess around and make people laugh.
More About Our Resident Rodeo Clown
Hester is a member of the Future Farmers of America and was recently selected as the second vice president of the Green River FFA Chapter. She is also a member of the National Honor Society.
Following her high school graduation in 2020, she plans to attend Western Wyoming Community College before transferring to the University of Wyoming. She wants to study wildlife biology.
“I would love to clown professionally, however, I have my heart set on becoming a Wildlife Biologist for the Game and Fish first before I take up professional clowning,” Hester said.
Keeping Up with Kolbi
People can catch Hester’s rodeo clown acts at the local rodeos such as the Overland Stampede Rodeo and the R & R Rodeos in Rock Springs. She also just performed at the Chuckwagon Days Rodeo on the Fourth of July in Big Piney.
To stay updated with Hester’s rodeo clowning, check out her Facebook page here.