While it is the bull fighters' job to protect the cowboys, it's the barrel man's primary job to entertain the crowd. It's a job that Cody Sosebee takes very seriously -- for a clown. "I spend two to three hours everyday day on the internet keeping up with current events and gossip columns. I think people would be surprised at how much preparation I do to be able to relate to each individual in the stands. It's not about just going out there and acting like an idiot for a few hours. I have to go in there with as many bullets in my arsenal as possible so that I can connect with whatever crowd is there that night, no matter if they are nine or ninety," explained Sosebee.
During the winter his preparation includes going to dance class at his local gym to learn the latest dance moves and chat with the girls in class so he can stay hip with "cool" moves and lingo. His secondary occupation of driving a school bus and substitute teaching provides endless opportunities to gather material. Sosebee says that everything in life, he sees with humor. "It can be something as normal as a lady in the grocery store pushing her cart, and my mind sees that and is already trying to turn it into something funny before I even realize it. I try to see the humor in life in everything I do and then somehow put a western-type spin on it," says Sosebee.
This native Arkansas rancher could have taken several routes in his life. He had the talent and opportunity to play collegiate football and professional martial arts. He was also a successful bareback rider winning the International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) Rookie of the Year title in 1991 and the IPRA Word Championship in bareback riding in 1993. While Sosebee was always a boisterous prankster of sorts, it was just by chance that the career of a rodeo entertainer fell into his lap at a three-night rodeo in 1997. Now what was once fun'n around has led into a lucrative career . Cody has been nominated over 13 times for PRCA Clown of the Year and PRCA Comedy Act of the Year and being selected to be the Barrel Man at the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
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The Chicken Mafia is based out of the lower Ozark Mountains (River Valley) in Northwest Arkansas, with chapters in East Oklahoma and East Texas. Buying and selling new, used chickens and now a complete line of "Chicken Mafia" merchandise! 5 years ago one farmer was over ran by coons getting in his corn patch and ruining his crop, so he decided to start trapping them. But soon found out that he was catching more than he could deal with! By off chance down the road he had a neighbor that was a world champion coon dog trainer. The trainer would use the live coons to help start his young coon dog pups, so in trade for the coons the neighbors traded chickens. So in time some of the chickens were sold to friends that wanted all natural eggs and meat.
One day the neighbors decided to put on a One Day Chicken Sale at the local fairgrounds. We decided to advertise it on the radio, put up flyer's at local sale barns, and we wound up having over 400 people bring chickens to the sale. From 3 different states and some drove as far as 5 hours and we sold chickens for 8 hours straight!
We knew we had stumbled onto something special, so now once a year in the spring, we produce the biggest one day chicken auction in Arkansas and in the Midwest US! We sell t-shirts, caps, koozies, stickers, and other chicken swag all over the county. We sponsor bullfighters on the Bullfighters Only Tour with Cody Emerson, Tate Rhoades, and Dakota Knight. This year we sponsored our first 5 and under T Ball team! If you follow Randy Rogers Band, you'll sometimes see the band members wearing some of our swag on stage!
We are able to make donations yearly to our area foster children that are in need and make contributions to county 4H and poultry improvement programs!