FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Russell Ford has been going to the Franklin Rodeo since he was 8 years old.

“The first second I got on and entered the arena,” said Ford.

And just like that he was hooked on bull riding, a sport that definitely comes with some dangers.

“I mean, there’s plenty of dangers. You can lose your life pretty easily, but you just put it aside and just go out there and have fun.”

That mental toughness has helped Ford succeed as a wrestler and good enough to do it at the collegiate level next season.

“You have to be mentally strong to ride, you know, because you’re looking down at a bull, you’re sitting on top of a bull. That’s pretty tough to comprehend right then and there.”

At independence, he won all four years at regionals in wrestling — while competing for state in the very arena as this weekend’s Franklin Rodeo — an event that’s very dear to his heart.

“There’s not another sport that is you and a bull or you and a horse. It’s pretty special to me to be working with an animal because you’re both working together to make a good, you know, a good roping or anything like that or a good ride if you’re bull riding or bronc riding.”

The Franklin goes from Thursday to Saturday at the Williamson County Ag. Expo Park. You can catch Ford as he’s set to make an exhibition bull ride Saturday.