Tyler, TX (KETK) Bull riding is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, but it is also considered one of the most dangerous. Although the sport may be challenging, an East Texas man has proven time and time again why he is one of the best in the world.
“I love getting on,” Robson Palermo, professional bull rider said. “I love the adrenaline. It makes you feel like Superman when you jump off.”
Palermo is a well-known professional bull rider living in Bullard. He is originally from the Amazon region of Brazil. He grew up on a ranch and ride steers at a young age for fun. One day, his mother would bring home a tape of a rodeo event. That’s when Palermo knew he wanted a career in bull riding.
“I knew I was going to do it,” Palermo said. “I knew I was going to be bull riding professionally.”
Palermo realized he would make more money bull riding than staying at the farm. At the age of 15, Palermo stunned fans by winning his first rodeo. He would also win Brazil’s second largest rodeo. It was where he would meet his wife.
“When I started riding in Brazil, she was kind of popular,” Palermo said. “She was on a magazine. I told my mom I was going to marry this girl. She laughed, and I would tell everybody she was my girlfriend but I never talked to her.”
Priscila Palermo was a well-known barrel racer. She agreed to go on a date with the bull rider, and their relationship has been going strong ever since.
“We got married in 2007, so it’s been nine years,” Priscila Palermo said. “It seems the more we stay together, the stronger we are together.”
The Palermos moved to the United States to pursue their careers. Priscila Palermo would attend Texas A&M and graduate with a Masters in Agribusiness. Robson would struggle learning the new language.
“I came over here and didn’t know nothing about English,” Robson said. “I knew some because I would watch movies and picked up some.”
Despite the difference in culture and language, Robson Palermo has won 13 professional bull riding events. He has also won the PBR World Finals three times.
The sport began taking a physical toll on Robson. He would injure himself and require multiple surgeries on his shoulder.
“He came home from bull riding and told me, ‘We need to talk.’ He told me, ‘I don’t think I want to ride bulls anymore. I think I’m done,” Priscila Palermo said.
Robson would not participate in major events for months, but he wouldn’t quit his career. He would ride an old bull at home as therapy.
Life is back to normal for the Palermo family. Their son is following his father’s footsteps and their daughter is taking up barrel racing.They are happy to call East Texas home.
“You have great schools and great shopping, but you still get small town living,” Priscila said.
They plan on becoming more involved in the community. As for Robson, he will continue to pursue his dream of being world champion.
“My goal is to ride good and stay healthy, and go chase this world champion.”