PUEBLO, Colo. - The smile on Chance Roberts'
face was unmistakable.
"I'm back to finally going again," said the third-year pro, whose career was interrupted by injuries in the past year.
He suffered a broken left collarbone that halted his 2011 season, and then dislocated his right shoulder a few months ago when he returned to competition.
Injuries are always frustrating, but for Roberts they were especially so, considering he was ranked in the Top 30 and on his way to qualifying for his first World Finals when he broke his collarbone.
'I'm back to finally going
"That's just the way it goes," he said last weekend at a Touring Pro Division event in Asheville, N.C. "It's part of it. Everybody deals with it and you hate for it to happen, but unfortunately, that's just the way it goes sometimes.
"You always heal up and get back at it again."
Roberts said he spent about two weeks at the practice pen before returning.
Asheville was his fourth event since coming back, and he plans to maintain a heavy travel schedule this summer as he prepares for an August return to the Built Ford Tough Series.
Chance Roberts rode 40 percent of his bulls while on the Built Ford Tough Series.
While he kept himself in shape throughout his downtime, and "hit
the gym pretty hard" once he could work on strengthening his upper
body, he agreed there's a difference between being physically fit
and being in bull riding shape.
"I'm just getting back into the swing of things," he said.
Roberts was impressive in his previous BFTS showings.
In 12 events - six in each of the past two seasons - he's covered 40 percent of his bulls and recorded three Top 10 finishes. If he were to stay healthy and maintain his career riding percentage, the Illinois native could likely find himself in the Top 15.
With more than $22,000 already won at TPD events, he's ninth in the standings and already 44th in the qualifier standings. The Top 35 will qualify for the Finals in Las Vegas.
'I plan on riding every bull I get on.
That's my goal, and everything else takes care of
When he returns in Tulsa, Okla., he won't lack confidence.
When asked if his previous BFTS experience will make him more prepared this time, he said, "I guess, in a way, but it never really bothered me before. You just go about it as it is - another bull riding. That's what I'll do again."
In the meantime, he's been to three TPD events in the past two weekends.
Asked about his goals or if there was anything he was specifically looking to accomplish in June and July, Roberts said, "I plan on riding every bull I get on. That's my goal, and everything else takes care of itself."
He added, "I plan on being gone about every weekend going to these Touring Pros and stuff, and then once the Built Ford Tough Series starts back up, I have five events there, so I'll probably go as soon as they start back up.
"That'll be my game plan anyway. We'll see how it goes."
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