By Keith Ryan Cartwright | Jun 22, 2012 @ 10:00 AM
FORT WORTH, Texas - Like all professional bull riders, Colby
Yates knows all too well the dangers of the sport.
He also has firsthand knowledge of the financial impact injuries
can have on a rider and his family when a rider is out of
competition for an extended period of time.
Yet the 30-year-old was taken aback during a recent conversation
with Pistol Robinson.
"He said his doctor bills were right around $200,000," Yates
said, "and I just took a step back. I said, 'It's going to take you
forever to get past that.'
"Whenever you're not able to make any money, whatever you (have)
is gone. You can count it gone. It takes a lot to live. With the
help of the Rider Relief Fund and these benefits, we can help him
get to where he's not going to have to struggle too much, so he can
come back with no worries on his mind."
Robinson has been out of competition since breaking both legs in a
wreck with Carrillo Cartel in the season-opening Built Ford Tough
Series event in New York in January.
Yates has put together an online benefit auction that will begin
Monday, June 25, at TheBreedersConnection.com,
which is known among breeders and stock contractors as "a selective
online auction service."
According to Yates, the weeklong auction will include semen sales
from some top bulls, donated by stock contractors. Yates also had
two high-dollar heifers donated by Lufkin Ranch & Rodeo, and a
leather worker has donated a custom leather belt, in which the
highest bidder can choose their own design.
Yates said he's still in the process of collecting items for the
Although Robinson, 28, is a couple years younger than Yates, they
grew up less than 20 miles from each other and rode their way to
the PBR by competing at a lot of the same junior bull riding
"The best way to explain it is that we're on the road all year
long," said Yates, explaining the cowboy way of looking out for one
another and lending a helping hand, "and we're like family. When we
leave our family, this is our second family. We see each other
every weekend and we take up a bat for one another. I mean, we're
there - whatever they need - and that's the case with Pistol. I've
known him ever since I was little.
"It's not that I wouldn't do it for somebody else, too."
Robinson sustained a right thigh mid-shaft femur fracture, along
with a left leg tibia and fibula fracture when he was stepped on
after being thrown off Carrillo Cartel in the third round of the
Madison Square Garden Invitational.
"When we leave our family, this is our
second family. We see each other every weekend and we take up a bat
for one another."
He had covered two of three bulls and was en route to a Top 10
finish when he was transported to Bellevue Hospital's trauma
The recovery and rehab is expected to take a minimum of one
"It's a setback in life," Yates said, "and something that would
take him years and years to pay off - 10 or more years. I mean,
that's a lot of debt.
"When he said $200,000, I'm thinking, 'My goodness.'"