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Clown of Year Justin Rumford out with injury

by Tracy Renck | Feb 17, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Justin Rumford, the PRCA Clown of the Year every year since 2012, is sidelined after having left knee surgery.

Rumford had the surgery Feb. 7 by Dr. Chris Miller in Wichita, Kan. Rumford is planning to return to the arena for Rodeo Austin (Texas), which begins March 16.

Rumford, who also won the Coors Man in the Can award in 2013, 2015 and 2018, injured the knee Jan. 26 while performing at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver. He also went on to perform at Rodeo Rapid City, Jan. 25 through Feb. 2.

“I had an MRI, and when I got home from Rapid City (S.D.) my orthopedic surgeon (Miller) looked at the MRI and said we have to fix this right away because if we wait until the fall there will be nothing left to fix,” Rumford said. “I blew my whole left knee out, the ACL, MCL and meniscus. At Denver, I was doing a new clown act with a miniature fighting bull. I jumped him, and I was fighting him, and I was making some rounds. I went to throw a back fake and when I did I stepped in a hole (in the arena dirt at the Denver Coliseum). When I stepped in the hole, I hurt my knee.”

Rumford, 38, said he will be able to walk and talk and do his acts that don’t involve jumping, beginning at Rodeo Austin.

“I just will not be able to work the barrel for a while,” he said. “I still have a lot of acts I can do without having to run. I’m pretty much going to do everything I usually do except work the barrel. I think by mid-April I should be back to my old self. They said the surgery was really good. I have been going to therapy, and I have a great team behind me. My physical therapist is amazed at how strong my legs are and how much stuff I have already been able to do. I plan on clowning for a long time and I’m going to come back stronger than ever.”

Rumford said he blew his right knee out steer wrestling at the Greeley (Colo.) Stampede in 2004.

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