Professional Bull Riders making stop in Peoria

Adam Larck
Josh Faircloth will be one of many riders that can be seen this weekend when the Professional Bull Riders makes it stop in Peoria.

Six years ago, professional bull rider Josh Faircloth hopped on his first bull on the Professional Bull Riding circuit.

Today, he’s participated in some many rides that he has lost count. Faircloth, like many other riders, have multiple rides weekly throughout most of the year, culminating in the PBR finals in October in Las Vegas.

This week, though, the PBR is making a stop at the Peoria Civic Center on Friday and Saturday. The PBR Peoria Invitational, part of the Touring Pro Division, kicks off on both nights at 7:30 p.m.

“There’s a bunch of great guys and great bulls that will be there this weekend,” Faircloth said.

Faircloth, 24, of Randleman, North Carolina, started riding when he was 14 years old.

“I always lived on a farm and had cows and bulls around the house,” he said.

He eventually started going to rodeos with his cousin. He joined the PBR when he was 18, the minimum age for riders.

While Faircloth said that he’s ridden so many rodeos he doesn’t remember them all, competing in close to 100 competitions each year, there are a few memories that stand out for him.

“At the PBR finals in Las Vegas, I rode a bull that was in contention for bucking bull of the year,” he said.

That ride was his first year making the finals. He said not many riders had been on that bull, and that it has probably been his favorite ride during his six touring years.

Faircloth also remembers his injuries he’s gathered through the years. While he said he has had nothing major, he has broken his nose a few times and is deaf in his left ear after being knocked out by a bull at the Canadian Professional Bull Riders finals in 2011.

“I’ve also had a lot of concussions,” he said.

During the competition, points are awarded based on a rider’s performance and the liveliness of the bull during the eight seconds a rider must stay on a bull.

More points are awarded for spurring and handling a hard-bucking bull well.

Tickets for each night are $23-$43, with prices increasing by $2 on the day of the event. They can be purchased at the Peoria Civic Center.