By Keith Ryan Cartwright | Mar 14, 2013 @ 04:00 PM
FORT WORTH, Texas ― It's a milestone Jeff
Robinson never intended to achieve.
However, this weekend the reigning three-time Stock Contractor
of the Year will haul a truckload of bulls to his 100th consecutive
regular-season Built Ford Tough Series event. He's also been to the
past four World Finals during that streak.
Robinson's streak began in Columbus, Ohio, in October 2009 a
week after missing an event in Portland, Ore.
Since then he's made 12 trips in which back-to-back BFTS events
were in either the Eastern or Pacific time zone one week and the
opposite side of the country the next.
"I think it shows his dedication and his bulls dedication," said
Luke Snyder, who holds a PBR record of competing
in 275 consecutive BFTS events. "He deserves to be a three-timer
not only because he has the best stock, but he will out-travel
Snyder also noted that Robinson has a genuine love of the sport
to maintain that type of schedule.
"He deserves to be a three-timer not only because
he has the best stock, but he will out-travel anyone going."
PBR livestock director Cody Lambert
acknowledged that, at times, his job setting the bull pen has been
made easier knowing he could count on the fact that Robinson was
hauling a truckload of as many as 20 bulls.
"It means a lot," Lambert said. "This is the only job he has.
This is what he does for a living."
The North Carolina-based contractor hasn't missed a single event
for the past three seasons, but isn't sure whether that streak will
continue throughout the 2013 season.
For much of the past three years he's split his pen into two
separate trucks, and with the help of fellow contractors, he's
based one truck west of the Mississippi River and kept the other at
home in Mars Hill, N.C.
A few weeks ago Robinson made the decision to truck the same
bulls used at the Iron Cowboy IV, in Arlington, Texas, up to
Tacoma, Wash., for the first of three-week run out west.
"Just the logistics," replied Robinson, when asked what was the
biggest obstacle in reaching the milestone. "One week you're in New
York City and the next week you might be in Anaheim, Calif., and
you have to have two people, who are real dependable and can take
care of bulls.
"We've been real fortunate to be able to make it all work."
During that time he's used four different drivers.
The majority of the trips have been driven by Wayne Aldridge,
who now works with Circle T Ranch & Rodeo, with Clint Hass and
his brother Casey Robinson helping out ― namely on weekends when
Robinson was either hauling bulls to Touring Pro Division events or
faced with cross-country hauling.
In recent months, Delbert Nuse has become his primary driver
with Casey helping to split the duties.
Kody Lostroh, who aside from winning the 2009
world title also raises bucking bulls, called the milestone
"That takes dedication," wrote Lostroh, in a text message, "and
great partners and helpers to pull it off."
In addition to the BFTS, Robinson produces in upward of 15 TPD
events and hauls bulls to dozens of others.
Last weekend, Robinson said he knows he'll have bulls this
weekend in Fresno, Calif., as well as next weekend in Albuquerque,
N.M., but hasn't finalized his plans beyond that point. He does
have a deep enough pen for this to become the fourth consecutive
year in which he doesn't miss a single BFTS event.
According to www.probullstats.com, Robinson Bucking Bulls
has recorded 139 total BFTS outs this year, including 29 in the
Built Ford Tough Championship Round. The next highest contractor on
the list is Chad Berger with 51 total outs and only six in the
Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
This would be the fourth season in a row in which Robinson would
record the most outs.
Since the start of the 2010 season he's tallied 1,542 outs of
which 312 have been in the championship round. Lambert said a
conservative estimate would be that Robinson has earned in upwards
of $1.2 million during the past streak of 100 events.
Nevertheless, his weekly earnings are greatly offset by his fuel
bill ― Robinson said his 18-wheel hauler gets less than five miles
per gallon ― and the skyrocketing cost of buying BFTS caliber
"You'd like to keep it going," Robinson concluded, "but I think
100 is a pretty good milestone."