ELKO — While the Silver State Stampede wasn’t Troy “The Wild Child” Lerwill’s first stop as a PRCA clown, it was one of his first to break out what has since become his calling card.
“I have been doing it (clowning) for about 27 years total, but I got my pro card in 1996 or 1997,” Lerwill said. “I grew up riding and going to rodeos with my parents. My dad was a team roper and my mom was a queen in her teens, so I was always around the sport.”
Born and raised in and currently living in Payson, Utah, and now 53-years old, Lerwill looks back on the “afternoon” of his career and he’s back in Elko doing it all again.
“I went to some bull-fighting clinics, and I got my first motorcycle when I was 11. I raced Motocross and Desert. Actually, I think I ride better than I walk,” Lerwill said. “Once I got into the comedy of rodeo, I wanted to add something unique or new and make it my own.”
Indeed, he did.
Lerwill’s gravity-defying stunts and jumps are well-known components of his act, saying he started jumping his motorcycles in rodeos in 1997.
“I had only done the jumps at about four rodeos before I went to Elko, so the act was still pretty new when I did it there for the first time,” Lerwill said. “I actually still have some clippings from the newspaper.”
His first jumps during the Silver State Stampede came clear back in 1998, and his second stint will take place through Sunday — some 22 years later.
“I was supposed to come here two years ago, but I broke my leg in Prescott (Arizona) the week before,” Lerwill said. “Matt Tarr filled in for me as my replacement.”
Grab the kids, perk up in your seats and get on your toes as Troy “The Wild Child” Lerwill takes flight at the Elko County Fairgrounds during the 2020 Silver State Stampede.
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