MARS HILL, N.C. - Two-time Stock Contractor of the Year
Jeff Robinson has decided he will pull the
legendary Chicken on a Chain from competition at
the conclusion of the 2012 season.
It will be "the hardest thing I've had to do in my professional career," he said. "It's tough, but it's just like with any athlete or anything in life, time catches up to everybody."
Robinson hasn't confirmed Chicken's final performances, but is considering his own Touring Pro Division event in Asheville, N.C., the first weekend in June, and a final Built Ford Tough Series event in Greensboro, N.C.
'It's tough, but it's just like with any athlete or anything in life, time catches up to everybody.'
Chicken on a Chain, the 2007 World Champion Bull, is one of the most popular animal athletes in PBR history.
"It's a sad deal for us because he's not just in our bull herd or the foundation of our business, but he's like family," Robinson said. "My kids feed him every day and he just has a special place. I don't care how many good ones we have - we've been really lucky and had several (World Champion) Bull candidates - but nobody, in my mind, will ever fill his shoes."
Justin McBride and Chicken on a Chain team up for 93 points in Auburn Hills, Mich., in 2007.
Robinson teamed with Mike Tedesco and
Larry the Cable Guy in 2006 to purchase Chicken on
Initially, the bull was a work in progress; for much of their first year together, Chicken on a Chain was mean and hard to handle. At one point, Robinson considered selling him, but instead loaded him on his trailer and hauled him to Touring Pro Division events for much the year.
'Once 2007 started, that was probably the
best year I've ever had any bull have.'
"At the Finals, that year in '06, you could see him mellow a little bit," Robinson explained. "Well, I don't know if it was 'mellow' so much, but settle into the routine. Once 2007 started, that was probably the best year I've ever had any bull have.
"He was at the top of his game at every event."
In 2007, he bucked off a career-best 94.44 percent of the riders who drew him. Of his 18 outs, 12 were on the BFTS. He was ridden just once, when Justin McBride made the whistle for 93 points. His average bull score was 46.188 points, with an average mark of 23.2 points per judge.
One of the largest bulls of the modern era, Chicken on a Chain weighs an estimated 2,100 pounds.
He's had 124 career outs, and holds a career average of 45.02
points. His 78 outings at BFTS events are the most of any active
bull, and eighth on the all-time list of outs. He's the only bull
out of nearly 26,000 profiled at www.probullstats.com who has more
than 100 PBR outs with an average score of 45 points or
He's fourth on the list of all-time 90-point ride producers, and of his 78 outs at the BFTS, he's been the high-marked bull 41 times. Thirteen times riders have won a round on him.
'There wouldn't be a Jeff Robinson Bucking
Bulls today if it wasn't for Chicken on a Chain.'
Renato Nunes and Chicken on a Chain are 11th on the list of highest scores in PBR history, teaming for 95.75 points in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round at St. Louis in 2008.
"To me, there wouldn't be a Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls today if it wasn't for Chicken on a Chain," Robinson said.
Because of Chicken's success, Jeff Robinson Bucking Bulls quickly went from hauling four or five bulls to 10 or 12. Two years later, the outfit had 25 bulls, and could help fill the pens at both a BFTS event and a TPD event in the same weekend.
Last year, Robinson could haul a trailer full of short-round-caliber bulls to every BFTS event without hauling the same the load two weeks in a row.
Chicken on a Chain takes Renato Nunes for a 95.75-point spin
in St. Louis in 2008.
"I'm literally saying this bull built my program," said Robinson. "He opened up so many more areas other than just going and bucking bulls."
What has made Chicken on a Chain an undeniable fan-favorite is his sheer size to go along with his athleticism.
Robinson said he's never seen a bull of Chicken's size - an estimated 2,100 pounds - move as quickly. That's likely what caught the imaginations of PBR fans around the world. To this day, the black-and-white behemoth still receives a standing ovation when he's introduced at events.
Robinson said the applause gives him goose bumps even today.
"He's really the only bull that does that," Robinson said. "I still get just as nervous flanking him today as I did five years ago. I want him to perform at his very best every time that we go somewhere."
'I want him to perform at his very best every time that we go somewhere.'
As difficult as the decision to retire the bull is, Robinson
said it's best for Chicken's legacy.
He does not want to him become a 21.5-point bull, or appear anywhere but the short round, and would rather the fans and riders remember him for the 90-plus point rides he produced.
Whether or not he bucks again in 2012, Robinson said Chicken on a Chain looks as good as he ever has and will likely be hauled to special events where fans can see him and pose for photos.
At home in Mars Hills, N.C., he has his own barn and a special place in the pasture to himself.
Robinson admitted it has been tough going to the barn, knowing Chicken on a Chain isn't necessarily coming on the next trip.
"It's the whole realization that part of my program is over with," he said. "That's the hardest thing I've had to cope with."
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