I’m Back in the Barrell

By Judy Wade

A certain rodeo saying may sound like a strange answer to, “What are you doing now?” until you realize the answer is from Brandon Dunn, rodeo barrel man. “Back in the barrel” simply means he is the guy in a loud shirt, baggy pants, make-up, and a funny hat who is standing in a padded barrel when the bull riding begins. His job is to help the bullfighters protect the bull riders when their eight-second ride is over, or they buck off.

Born in Stillwater, Okla., while his dad was attending Oklahoma State University, Dunn grew up in Petrolia, graduating in 1992. He was raised in a rodeo family. His mother, Jackie, was a barrel racer, and his dad, Chuck, dogged steers.

However, the family history in rodeo goes back much farther. Chuck’s brother was the famous Rex Dunn, who introduced the black Mexican fighting bulls to America. Americans loved the new sport. Rex put on bullfights all over the country, and even built an arena north of Waurika, Okla., to practice and put on freestyle bullfights.

To read more pick up a copy of NTFR magazine. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.