[Masthead] Overcast ~ 70°F  
High: 69°F ~ Low: 46°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Doggy delight at rodeo Saturday

Thursday, February 16, 2012

(Photo courtesy Foto Cowboy)
Bert Davis, the "Coppertown Clown" and a former contestant on "America's Got Talent," will bring four different acts featuring 10 dogs as one of the featured entertainers Saturday night at the Lone Star Championship Rodeo.

The rodeo will be held at Calsonic Arena on the Celebration grounds. Like most such events, it combines serious competition with pageantry and family fun, striving to entertain a variety of spectators.

Debut visit

While the Lone Star Rodeo has been coming to Shelbyville for more than 20 years, this is Davis' first visit.

"We're very excited," he said.

Bert Davis, the "Coppertown Clown," and his dogs will be one of the featured acts at Saturday's appearance of the Lone Star Championship Rodeo at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville. Show time is 7:30, but there will be some children's activities a half hour earlier.
(Photo courtesy Foto Cowboy)
Davis said his act includes a wide variety of dog breeds, and that all 10 are rescue dogs, strays or owner-surrendered dogs adopted by Davis and his wife, Frannie.

Davis said there's something about a dog act that everyone can relate to, and said the dogs in his act are so diverse that almost anyone in the audience will be reminded of their own dog, or a neighbor's dog, by one of them.

A dog's life

Davis said the last of the original dogs he began performing with has just retired at the age of 20, which he said is a sign that the dogs are lovingly-treated and enjoy what they do.

He has been selected three times to perform as the featured act at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev., with his dog Kelsey. They were the first comedy act to perform during a National Finals Rodeo performance. Bert and Kelsey were nominated for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Comedy Act of the Year Award several times. Davis is a 38-year member of PRCA.

He's performed in 41 states and five Canadian provinces.

National winner

Rodeo specialty acts perform at the annual Contract Acts Showcase held in Oklahoma at which various rodeo operators can see them in action. This year, Davis and his animals won for best dress act, best comedy act and best barrelman, the first time one person has ever won three different awards at the same showcase.

Davis and his act, billed as the "Muttley Crew," made it into the "judges' favorite" group after initial auditions for the 2010 season of "America's Got Talent," becoming the only animal act to make it that far in the competition, but was eliminated once the competition reached Las Vegas. The act was also featured in a 2002 National Geographic documentary, "Dogs With Jobs," as well as the CMT rodeo documentary "Stomped and Gored." He's appeared on numerous PBR telecasts and other TV features.

Davis' website is www.coppertownclown.com, and he's also on Facebook.

State's largest

The Lone Star rodeo, billed as the largest one-day rodeo in Tennessee, includes eight sanctioned events: bareback bronc riding, calf roping, cowgirls' breakaway roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, cowgirls' barrel racing, team roping and Brahma bull riding.

In addition to Davis, two-time rodeo clown of the year "Mighty Mike" Wentworth will appear.

Official showtime is 7:30 p.m., but activities for young children start 30 minutes before showtime, including a best-dressed cowboy and cowgirl contest, and a "gold rush" for kids 10 and under.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the gate for adults, $8 and $10 for children 4-12, with children 3 and under admitted free of charge.

Tickets are available from the Celebration office, 684-5915, or World Champion Horse Equipment on Madison Street, as well as from Russell Barnett Dodge in Winchester and Tullahoma Drug Store. Advance tickets are only available through 5 p.m. Friday.