As part of the 61st Annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, Kiwanians invited Cowboy Andy Rotz and his Wild West Extravaganza to perform as part of the free entertainment provided to fair-goers with their admission ticket.
His act is a high energy, rapid fire wild west show. The show includes world-class trick-roping, whip-cracking, gun-spinning, knife-throwing, sharpshooting and K-9 performances.
Rotz, 38, has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment world and said that he has been obsessed with being a cowboy since the age of 4.
“I think I just watched too many westerns as a kid,” he said.
At 10, Rotz had an Arabian trick horse named Adia. He and his grandfather created a show they called “The Horse, Dog and Roping Show” with Adia and his grandfather’s dog, Sparky.
Rotz’ favorite parts of the show he performs nightly are the tribute to veterans and the Wild West Showdown with kids.
“I remember as a kid sitting in the stands at a rodeo, and I saw trick roper, DJ Smith. I told myself that’s what I’m going to be. It was so inspirational, that day I got bit by the trick roping bug,” Rotz said.
Currently the holder of the Guinness World Record for Texas Skips, Rotz performs an array of trick-roping skills.
The Texas-Skip is when a person spins a rope in a vertical loop off to their side and then jumps through the loop every one and a half rotations.
On March 11, 2003, Rotz broke the previously held Guinness World Record of 4,011 skips in Las Vegas at the National Convention of the Wild West Arts Club. He Texas-skipped for an astonishing 3 hours and 10 minutes, achieving 11,123 consecutive skips. His record still stands 20 years later.
While his traveling Wild West Extravaganza doesn’t include a 3-hour performance of Texas-Skips, Rotz does throw knives at his performance partner, Lindsay Leigh, and performs tricks with his border collie, Bandit.
Bandit and Blaze, Rotz’s dogs travel with him for almost 150 days a year to a variety of events around the country. He performs between 14-18 shows for the average fair.
As he puts it, Rotz has been entertaining as a cowboy his whole life.
“I have been playing cowboy my whole life which includes doing rodeos, dinner shows, wild west shows, corporate events, schools, fairs, churches and birthday parties.”
At the end of each show, Leigh sings “Proud to be an American” and the duo asks all veterans in attendance to raise their hands so that they can be shown appreciation for their service. Afterwards, an American flag rolls out to conclude the show.
As part of a military family, the Veterans Tribute is important to Rotz. His grandfather, his first co-star in a cowboy show, served in World War II.
In his downtime, Rotz enjoys spending time with family, riding horses, shooting guns and practicing martial arts.
As an entertainer, he said he finds joy in the opportunity he has to create the same excitement he experienced as a kid.
“It’s just so rewarding to try to reproduce the excitement and wonder for the kids that I felt so many years ago sitting in those stands,” Rotz said.
Rotz will bring his Wild West Show to the Kiwanis Fair for shows at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.
The Fair is open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday, and noon to midnight on Saturday. Gate admission is $10, and advance tickets bought online at kiwanisogeecheefair.org are $8.