They say you always hurt the one you love – but what happens when what you love hurts you?
You simply get back on the horse – or bull, as it is for Josh Faircloth, who will ride atop such a creature this weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza during the Professional Bull Riders show.
The 24-year-old Randleman, N.C., native found himself on the wrong end of the bull back in 2011 at the Canadian Professional Bull Riders finals. He was knocked out by the creature and actually lost hearing in his left ear because of it.
“It’s part of it,” the southerner said about his mishap. “I mean, it’s just one of those things that can happen. I really enjoy what I do, so I just keep on doing it.”
Faircloth was introduced to bull riding by his cousin at a young age and entered his first competition when he was 14.
Faircloth will be one of 40 riders vying for qualifying points for the 2014 Professional Bull Riders Tour Finals. Points are awarded for both the rider and the bull, based on how well the rider hangs on and also how well the bull performs during the eight seconds the riders are required to stay put.
“You want to make sure that he kicks over his head, kick hard, straight up and down, very fast,” Faircloth said of what it takes to make a good ride. “And our part is how well you can handle that; don’t be struggling to ride him.”
What keeps things interesting is that it’s a different bull every single time. Faircloth said there are certain competitions that will allow you to choose the bull you ride based on previous points earned, but not this one. This one is all about the luck of the draw.
The PBR Wilkes-Barre Invitational is produced by Frontier Rodeo Company and the country’s top bull man, Jerry Nelson, will be providing the world’s toughest bulls.
Despite the heralded strength and tenacity of these creatures – and previous injuries that also include broken ribs and concussions – Faircloth never finds himself riddled with nerves prior to a ride.
“You just show up, and you do your thing.”