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Local 'joke' gets national attention

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A family-oriented show, this year’s Creston Classic Rodeo, garnered national attention—but not for its mutton-busting.

On Sept. 15, a rodeo clown grabbed the microphone and made a joke about First Lady Michelle Obama posing for National Geographic. Many spectators were appalled by the remark, and the incident has since made national headlines.

In a statement released Sept. 18, Mike Hayhurst apologized for “irresponsibly” telling the joke “that many people found offensive.”

“Thanks to the Founders and defenders of our great nation, we are afforded our free speech rights. With those rights comes responsibility,” Hayhurst said in his statement. “While no apology will satisfy everyone, I hope those of you in the Creston area with whom I have had a 15-plus year relationship will accept mine.”

According to a Sept. 18 press release by the Creston Classic Rodeo, Hayhurst is an out-of-the-area independent contractor whose words do not reflect their views.

 “We still believe in the ‘Cowboy Way’ and part of that creed is to tip our hat and respect women,” board director Jeff Rigby said in the release. “Mr. Hayhurst broke a cowboy rule.”

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