Wild thing: Troy Lerwill blends bikes and broncs for a hot-to-trot rodeo act

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When Troy Lerwill isn’t performing extreme rodeo stunts, he enjoys domesticated hobbies like mountain biking. He’s owned Wild Child Cycles in Payson for 20 years. (Photo by Dave Blackhurst)

When Troy Lerwill isn’t performing extreme rodeo stunts, he enjoys domesticated hobbies like mountain biking. He’s owned Wild Child Cycles in Payson for 20 years. (Photo by Dave Blackhurst)

Rodeos are a Utah Valley summer staple, and if you’ve been to the Spanish Fork roundup, you’ve probably seen Troy Lerwill flying through the arena on a motorcycle. Known by his stage name “The Wild Child,” Troy’s job as a rodeo clown (or more accurately a bullfighter) is to protect riders from being trampled by 1,800-pound angry bulls while entertaining rodeo-goers in the process.

What sets Troy apart are his extreme stunts — like jumping a truck and trailer on his motorcycle.

“When I first started doing that trick, I thought I’d be able to pull it off for five years or so,” Troy says, “Twenty years later, I can’t believe I’m still doing it.”

Troy’s rodeo roots run long and deep — his mom was a rodeo queen and his dad was a team roper. Troy has always had an affinity for motocross, and now that love is his edge as performer. Troy has received many awards including being named the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Comedy Act of the Year six times.

Performing death-defying feats for a living has put Troy in the hospital a handful times, including last year when he broke both ankles from landing a jump especially hard.

After spending three weeks in a wheelchair and an extended recovery, Troy got back on the bike and back to his daredevil ways.

Troy travels the country performing on the national rodeo circuit as well as locally at the Ute Stampede in Nephi and the Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City.

“I love performing in town because I can use all my inside jokes and I can razz my friends,” Troy says.

When he’s not clowning around, Troy also owns Wild Child Cycles (bicycle shop) in his hometown of Payson and loves to ride local trails.

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Kate Lehnhof Nash first joined Bennett Communications as a summer intern in 2009. Now, as an associate editor, she writes for magazines including Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley Bride and Prosper. Kate lives in Springville with her husband Steve and enjoys running, reading, sushi and her french bulldog, Chief.

One Comment

  1. Chuck Helman Reply

    We are looking for a specialty act for 2016. The Othello Rodeo is a 2 night event Oct 16&17
    Please let me know if you are interested or not. RV parking with trees and power is on site.
    Contact me by e-mail or phone 509-331-3789.
    Thank you,
    Chuck

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