How it all began
Some kids grow up wanting to be a firefighter, doctor, or police officer; but not for Burnsville, NC cowboy, Garrett "Cowpaty" Wilson. I grew up always knowing that I wanted to be a rodeo clown and entertain audiences.
Growing up in a rodeo family, my dad competed in rodeo in his younger days competing in the bareback riding. By the time I was born he had hung it up and while I was growing up we would attend rodeo as spectators usually at the annual rodeos held at Western North Carolina Agricultural Center. At a young age I began drawing interest into the rodeo clown and listening to the jokes they would tell and watching the comedy acts they would perform. When I returned home from the rodeo I would start imitating the things that I saw the rodeo clown do.
On September 22, 2004 at the age of 6 years old a tragic event occurred that could have had a terrible outcome but instead has turned out to be a life changing event. On this day 17 years ago, I had a wreck on a 4-wheeler suffering a traumatic brain injury, while riding the 4-wheeler I had hit something in my path resulting in it turning over on me. I was airlifted to Mission Hospital, immediately put on life support and placed in ICU, with the doctors having little faith in me surviving through the night, where I remained on life support for the next 13 days and in a coma until October 15th when I was admitted to Charlotte Health & Rehabilitation Center. There I started my road to recovery. Receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy and I started walking, talking and eating again and started becoming my old self again and then came home on December 1, 2004.
It was a bad experience for my family and I during this time but now I'm doing great, living life to the fullest every day. I have no complications from the wreck. My life is great, I have a supporting family & friends, a great career, and most of all I'm living my childhood dream as a professional rodeo clown. God has truly blessed me in my life. These 23 years of my life has been great and the last 17 since my wreck have been even better. Most everybody in this walk of life I've noticed can take the little things that they have in their life for granted, but should be seen as a blessing and thanked God for daily because it could be taken away in a flash, at any minute just like my life almost was and that's what I hope someone gets out of this, appreciate everything you have because it could be taken away in at any second. Ever since I got out of the hospital on December 1st everything I've done and experienced I've always tried to do things with a smile on my face, those things and experiences might not have happened if it wasn’t for what I do in my life. While looking back on my life and wreck a couple years ago, I came up with a motto, which is: "no matter what your obstacles are in life always follow your dreams" ever since I've had my wreck that's what I've done and my dream has been at full blast since 2010!
The following month after my return home my dad and I went to the annual rodeo at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, a yearly tradition for us. There I saw the performance of a well-known, professional rodeo clown by the name of Bert Davis and his feature acts that consisted of rescued dogs that he trained specifically for his two acts that he used his dogs in, "Garbage man Nightmare" and "Muttley Crew". After returning home that night my desire to become a rodeo clown started. I started pretending that I was a bullfighter in my pasture "bullfighting" my goats and I got a plastic barrel in my yard pretending that I was a rodeo clown inside the barrel. My dad and I then put me a rodeo clown costume together that consisted of a pair of red jogging pants; a worn out red, white, and blue western shirt, and a black cowboy hat. So, I started pretending and practicing that I was a rodeo clown. After years following, my desire to become a rodeo clown was still there. So, I reached out to a rodeo about becoming the rodeo clown at their rodeos.
Then, five to six years later, in 2010 I got offered the position of the rodeo clown at a bi-weekly small amateur rodeo in my hometown of Burnsville, NC where I stayed until the unfortunate closing in 2018. Through the years in between that time I started getting more and more phone calls to work rodeos for different producers and stock contractors in the region. Then I started working rodeos up and down the East Coast and all throughout the Southeast for some of the most well-known rodeo producers and stock contractors in the world of professional rodeo through the Southern Rodeo Association (SRA), and International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) and still continuing today working 40+ rodeos a year through five to six different professional rodeo associations. Cowpaty has also been featured in numerous publications as well on numerous radio stations and television networks; such as: WKYK 940, WTOE 1470, Power Country 102.1 WLOS ABC 13, Horse Tales TV, Asheville Citizens Times, Pro Rodeo Marketing, Our State Magazine, Madison County Sentiel and Yancey Times Journal.
While typing this bio out a number a years ago I couldn’t help but think of two bible verse that helps me through every day and is so fitting for this. Joshua 1:9 “Always be strong and full of courage, for thy God is with thee wherever thy goes”. And Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me”. Without that and without God being with me through my whole life I sure wouldn’t be who and where I am today and I couldn’t have accomplished all the things that I have in my life without Him and I couldn’t be more appreciative of that. This walk of life is hard and is always going to be filled with troubles, trials, haters, doubters, people that come and people that go and is always going to be questionable and it’ll make you feel like the worst person ever through those times but you always have to keep your head up, have faith and confidence in yourself and in God! People is going to walk in your life and people is going to walk out of your life but we can’t let that discourage us. Life is short so we all need to love with all our heart, spread smiles and laughter as much as possible, and share kind words with one another as much as possible. Life is too short to worry, to be unhappy, and to be doubtful but with confidence in yourself and God, great outcomes is going to happen.
That is the beginning of Cowpaty the Rodeo Clown to the present!
Thank you for stopping by!