Professional Bull Riding at BancorpSouth Arena on Saturday

Paul Smithey of Paul Smithey Construction bulldozes dirt hauled in for this weekend’s Professional Bull Riding at the BancorpSouth Arena. (Adam Robison)

Paul Smithey of Paul Smithey Construction bulldozes dirt hauled in for this weekend’s Professional Bull Riding at the BancorpSouth Arena. (Adam Robison)

BY SHEENA BARNETT
Daily Journal

TUPELO – A man about to climb onto a 2,000-pound bucking bull might be a little nervous, but not Billy Robinson.

The Professional Bull Rider, who’ll be in town this weekend at PBR’s event at the BancorpSouth Arena, prefers to stay calm before the show.

“I’ve been doing this so long, you get used to it,” he said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “I don’t get too excited. I think I perform better if I’m calm. I try to stay laid back.”

Robinson, 33, has been riding bulls since he was a teenager. The Virginia native is currently ranked 20th in the world, and he’s qualified for the world finals four times.

He’s competed despite injuries, like in 2012, when he competed in two final events with a facial fracture. He’s broken his jaw and torn ligaments.

Still, that doesn’t scare him from doing a job he loves.

“When you get to thinking about stuff like that, you might as well give it up,” he said.

He can find out which bull he’s riding in the few days before the show, but he prefers to find out the day of.

He’s tried riding Bushwacker, PBR’s powerhouse bull who’s been called unridable.

Bushwacker was recently named one of the baddest bodies in sports by ESPN The Magazine.

“A bull’s a living creature; he can do something different every time,” he said. “You can (try to predict a bull’s actions), but it’ll get you in trouble.”

Despite the danger, Robinson loves his job.

“Very few people get to do something they love to do, and get the opportunity to travel,” he said.

“Come on out and see us,” Robinson said of the Saturday event. “Come have a good time.”

sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

Check it Out

WHAT: PBR

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: BancorpSouth Arena

COST: $52, $32, $22, $12, plus fees

INFO: bcsarena.com, (662) 841-6528