Family, Friends Say Goodbye to Rodeo Legend Quail Dobbs - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Family, Friends Say Goodbye to Rodeo Legend Quail Dobbs

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Anum Valliani
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Hundreds of people came from around the nation for their final farewells to a rodeo legend. Famous rodeo clown Quail Dobbs passed away in his Coahoma home on Wednesday. He was 72-years-old.

"I always thought that he'd be around forever, and it just really hasn't sunk in yet," Quail Read, who's named after Dobbs, said.

Jerry Olsen, who had entertained crowds alongside Dobbs for decades added that, "When I think about it too long, it gets to me."

Dobbs started his rodeo career riding bulls and bareback horses, but they say it really began in 1962 when a clown didn't show up at a rodeo in Buffalo, Minnesota, 21-year-old Quail Dobbs took his place.

"That changed his life," one of the speakers said and enthralled the audience with a few more laughs through Quail.

"He told the crowd he took the tails off all his cows and had to sell them wholesale because he couldn't "re-tail" them," he said.

He also called kangaroos "Texas Jackrabbits" and once had an audience member call the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) because the person believed his joke about a chicken pulling his clown car around the arena.

As Quail was carried out, everyone focused on the different relationships they had with Quail, while a slide show showed moments of his life and memories of others. 
"Well usually he was telling me and his son to stay out of trouble because we usually had a way of getting into trouble," Kirsten Vold said.

Vold is the Harryville Rodeo Company Manager in Colorado and remembered performing acts with Quail, who was basically another dad.

In Big Spring, 24-year-old Ky Hofacket would volunteer at the rodeo and remembered getting mentored by the great.

"If you were down about anything, he pushed you along, got you back up and got you going again," Hofacket said.

In fact, he had such an impact on others that a friend even promised him, he'd name his first son after Quail, who was at the service.

"He gave me my first pair of spurs when I was two and I still have them," Quail Read said. "Later on when he became Justice of the Peace (in Howard County), he drove down to New Mexico and married my wife and I."

They all agree he never seemed like a celebrity.

"He didn't act like he was a big famous guy," according to Hofacket. "He was just your friend, a very good person, a humble person who accomplished a lot," Vold said. 

Despite it being a sad time, they just felt happy to have known him.

"It's a good testament to show what kind of man he was. to have this many people come and follow him, I think he'll never be forgotten," Read said.

Dobbs lives on in the Texas Rodeo Hall of Fame, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and some others.