They call him The Jester...
Dustin Jenkins started his rodeo career at the early age of twelve riding steers and junior bulls. Every weekend his parents would load Dustin and his younger brother, L.J., into the truck and head for a rodeo. Dustin reminisces, "It [traveling with his family] was fun. They would spend hundreds of dollars only so we could win thirty or fifty dollars.” Today Dustin realizes the money wasn’t important, it was the family time and the experiences the boys received that mattered to his parents. Even though the boys were good in other sports, rodeo was always number one.
In 1997 Dustin went from steers to bulls which created a difference in his riding style because he went from being able to wrapping his legs around the steer to having to bear down more on the bulls. This change made riding a little harder for Dustin, but in the first year he still stayed in the top ten out of about twenty-seven. Beginning the 1998 season Dustin moved from bulls to riding bare back horses.
Riding bareback horses seemed to come a bit easier for Dustin. He picked up the technique fast and did well for himself. Dustin rode hard in a few associations with a few other riders, one being James Teeple. James and Dustin would travel down the road acting like they were announcing rodeos. After a few times of just joking around in their vehicle both James and Dustin figured they had the announcing voice down, and that would make more money than riding. Dustin stated, "So that is what we did." James and Dustin started announcing rodeos. Dustin still announces a little bit, but his true passion is making people laugh and having fun with them, as he acts dumb and looks funny.
Up to this point in Dustin’s life he had rode steers, junior bulls, bulls, and bareback horses and worked as an announcer, but his talents didn’t stop there. From 2001 to 2004 Dustin had placed his hand in fighting bulls in freestyle and cowboy protection. "Those four years were the best years in my rodeo career. Fighting is what I loved the most," Dustin explained. He worked as a professional bullfighter in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. During this time Dustin met lots of stock contractors and committees, which he now works for as a rodeo clown. Dustin gets asked a lot, "Why clowning now and not bullfighting after he claimed bullfighting to be his true passion?" Dustin explains, "In 2003 I was diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes took control of the way I moved and it slowed me down. Slowing down as a professional bullfighter is not the best thing to happen.
Loving rodeo and working in the arena he needed an alternative career that would allow him to stay in rodeo. The choice was simple. Dustin had always been known as the class clown in school. He loved making people laugh and had enjoyed working with the clowns both as an announcer and as a bullfighter. Dustin turned his attention to entertaining the crowd and found that being a clown was second nature to him. Dustin's humor and personality became his profession, and the world got the "The Jester"!