Gallery: Brinson James – Rodeo Performer
Internationally known rodeo personality Brinson Harris, who performs as “Brinson James the Entertainer,” will bring his unique brand of high energy rodeo entertainment and rope tricks back to Ocala for the first time in nearly two decades this weekend.
Harris will be one of the featured acts at the Southeastern Pro Rodeo, which runs Friday and Saturday at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion.
You can call Harris a “cheerleader” because of his antics to whip up the crowd and help everybody enjoy the show but calling him a “rodeo clown” might be a bit off base.“I’m an entertainer,” Harris said.
Justin Lamb, one of the organizers of the rodeo, said fans will see eight major rodeo events, including breakaway roping, barrel racing, bareback bronc riding and bull riding, and headliner Jessica Blair, who performs a “Roman Horseback” act, riding atop two horses.
Harris, 29, a native of Micanopy in nearby Alachua County, last performed here about 17 years ago when he was still training with his father, Cliff Harris, while the two worked as the rodeo clown duet of “Hollywood Harris and Booger Head.”
Brinson apprenticed with his dad until he was 18 and then set off in his own direction as an entertainer, or what Cliff Harris calls a “hype man.”Brinson said his family has roots in the cattle industry and that he trained with his father as a “clown baby” before he began traveling with the Professional Bull Riders organization, which led to his adopting the job of rodeo entertainer.
Cliff, 62, said he is “proud” of his son’s accomplishments in the trade.
“Brinson is over the top and he has doubled the best I ever did,” Cliff said in a telephone interview.
Cliff said his family hails from Texas and relocated to the Micanopy area around 1970. He said he was a cattle buyer until around 1985, at age 24, when he became involved with rodeo because he had always heard about rodeo performers among people in the cattle industry as he grew up.
“Brinson’s eye-hand coordination is unbelievable. He taught himself to juggle around age 5 or 6,” Cliff said.
Brinson travels throughout the U.S. and Canada, where he appears on televised rodeos, and in Australia. His interactive act incudes leading the crowd in songs, high fives and working from the arena fences. He performs rope tricks with an 80-foot rope atop a 12-foot ladder. He uses a padded barrel to distract bulls in an emergency when a rider goes down.
“It’s not so bad when the barrel rolls, but when it (flips) end to end it’s a pretty rough ride,” he said.
Brinson’s two Australian shepherds, Reride, 10, and Cheddar,1, are his fellow performers.
He said he’s a huge rodeo fan and has “the best seat in the house, inside the arena.”
Lamb said the Southeastern Pro Rodeo was started in 1994 and that fans from as far as Washington State and countries including Austria, England, China and Spain attend. He said international rodeo fans who are going to the attractions in Orlando often include a trip to Ocala to see an “American Rodeo.”
Friday night is “Wrangler National Patriot Night at the Rodeo,” according to ocalarodeo.com, and veterans, active service members and first responders receive discounted admission with identification. Friday is also Wrangler Kids’ Night, with a special admission price for kids with a paying adult. Saturday is Wrangler Bucking Cancer Awareness Night. During the event, 50/50 drawings will be held to benefit the local non-profit Michelle-O-Gram breast cancer outreach, which assists with obtaining mammograms.
To Southeastern Livestock Pavilion is located at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala. To learn more, go to ocalarodeo.com or call (352) 421-3199. For more information about Brinson Harris, go to facebook.com/profile.php?id=100046780853468