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Trick roping: In Buffalo Bill's footsteps Tell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
Loop Rawlins
Courtesy Photo­Image
Balancing a pistol during a show.

When the Buffalo Bill Rodeo kicks off in a couple weeks, it’ll have amongst its entertainment a throw-back to what would have been in Buffalo Bill Cody’s show: a trick roper.

Loop Rawlins, a trick roper who appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, will entertain each night of the rodeo at the Wild West Arena.

The Tucson, Arizona man got his start at the age of eight, after he watched a trick roper at his hometown rodeo. He was “impressed,” he said, and “inspired to do it. I thought it was unique and different.”

His parents bought a kids’ trick rope with a cap gun and fake bullwhip, and he began practicing. He joined a trick riding group in Tucson, and became consumed with the art.

“I practiced hard,” he said, “and during break times other students would be running around, and I’d be like, ‘There’s a break time?’”

Once he outgrew the group, he began working at a western tourist town, trick roping for visitors. He was 14, and it was good experience in front of audiences. He moved on to performing at a dude ranch, then when he was 22, got a call from Cirque du Soleil, asking him to do the western portion of the show, which he did from 2009-12.

In 2014, he finished in the semi-finals for America’s Got Talent -- the only western performer on the show that year. He liked showing western entertainment to a mainstream audience.

“A lot of people think a cowboy with a rope sounds boring,” he said. “I was able to show to a pretty big audience that it wasn’t. I made it cool.”

Rawlins, who became a PRCA member in 2014, has entertained at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, the Rodeo Rapid City, and San Angelo, Texas, and Grand Island, among others.

Rawlins keeps roping historical, yet updates it.

“It’s authentic and old west, but I bring it in a contemporary way,” he said.

He looks forward to entertaining at the rodeo, which bears the name of the first wild west showman, Buffalo Bill.

Buffalo Bill “was a showman,” he said. “I definitely have to thank him, because I don’t know what the wild west show would be without him.”

Rawlins will entertain each night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo in North Platte June 14-17. Tickets range in price from $7 to $20 and can be purchased online at www.NebraskalandDays.com, at the gate, or at the office at 2801 Charlie Evans Drive (at the Wild West Arena in North Platte.)

For more information, visit the website or call 308.532.7939. A you tube clip of Rawlins in action is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flcFl8z_hF4&feature=youtu.be



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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/30/2017
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