Jeff Robinson: Stock Contractor for the PBR
By By Sandra Grace; Photos by Anthony Preston
Did you ever wonder why a bull ride is only eight seconds?
Jeff Robinson is a fourth generation Western North Carolina native. His Great Grandfather, Waylon Robinson, established the Robinson Ranch in Mars Hill in the 1800s. Mars Hill is a small college town nestled between the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. Jeff and his family built the ranch into the home and business it is today and Jeff says, “The only flat land we have is the land we created.”
Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls has become a household name in the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) and Rodeos throughout the country. It’s more than a family-run business: it’s a way of life. Jeff, his wife Ann, and their six children, ages 5-24, believe in the Country Heritage way of life. Ann is a secretary for the PBR, writes a blog from a woman’s point of view, and travels to many of the bull riding events to work with Jeff, who is currently the PBR Stock Contractor of the Year and has been for the last four years. He is now on ‘The Drive for 5!’
On average, a stock contractor owns 20 to 200 bulls. The PBR has set high standards for stock contractors and their bucking bulls. These bulls maintain a certain caliber to ensure they are in top-notch shape to perform. They arrive at least 24 hours prior to an event, which helps guarantee they are acclimated, rested, well-fed and hydrated prior to competition.
Four judges rate each rider and each bull on a scale of 1-25. Those points are added together and divided in half to reach a rider score and a bull score of between 0-50. Those numbers are then combined to reach a final ride score between 0-100. The bulls are every bit as important as the rider when it comes to scoring and always receive a score – based on his degree of difficulty – even if the rider is bucked off.
Jeff is fond of saying, “This sure beats a real job!” He put together a string of over 200 events; one reason the PBR says Jeff is the hardest working Stock Contractor in the business, sometimes supplying bulls for events held from Texas to New York in the same week. Jeff stays busy zipping back and forth across America, attending as many of the events as his bulls, fielding phone calls, texting furiously, answering questions from his staff, and still his most important role is being a dad and a husband.
Jeff said he would not be where he is today without the PBR World Champion bucking bull, Chicken on a Chain. Currently, his most popular bulls are Rango, I’m a Gangster Too, and a couple of young bulls quickly becoming favorites, Fire Rock and Percolator. He’s always on the look out for the next best bull.
The bulls are considered top athletes and are treated better than the family pet. Why does a bull only buck for eight seconds? It’s the amount of time before the bull begins to tire and can injure itself. And if you have ever ridden a bucking bull, you will know that eight seconds is more than enough!
The RMEF, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, has been sponsoring Jeff Robinson since 2010. The RMEF promotes Cowboys for Conservation and the American Heritage way of life that funnels back to the Rodeo and the mainstream via TV. This way we all get to share in that eight-second ride! Jeff started the RMEF Big Bull Tour four years ago as part of the PBR Touring Pro Division. On June 6-8, 2014 the Jeff Robinson Invitational will be held at the WNC Ag Center.
Asheville Ford has been a title sponsor from the beginning of the Jeff Robinson Invitational. Jeff’s long time friend, Paul Briggs, was the Fleet Manager for Asheville Ford and lost his life to cancer and left a young family. Bob Slebonick, General Manager of Asheville Ford, said that Paul was an integral part of the Asheville Ford Team. Paul built and coordinated an impressive Fleet Sales division with his ability to manage the many relationships at the dealership and with his customers.
Asheville Ford and Jeff Robinson have teamed up to put together the first annual Paul Briggs Memorial Rodeo. The first Paul Briggs memorial scholarship will be awarded this year to a local student. Asheville Ford is a huge local contributor to Heart with Hands, ARC, and many local schools.
Another great thing: this year’s Jeff Robinson Invitational is promoting, with support from other local sponsors, the 1000 Miles Till Home project. A home will be given to a local veteran. This is a way the local community can give back to a Wounded Warrior who has served our country!
For information and tickets for the June 6-8 event at the WNC Ag Center go to Alan’s Pawn, Jackson’s Western Store, Asheville Ford, or call 844-BIGBULL.