By: Justin Felisko
February 03, 2017
ANAHEIM, Calif. – When Shane Proctor won the 2011 PRCA bull riding title, he wound up breaking his left arm in the process and missed the first two months of the ensuing 2012 PBR season.
Fast forward to six years later, Proctor is now hoping to build off his 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo event average title and have even greater success in 2017.
“It gives you a lot of confidence coming into here,” Proctor said earlier this season. “I shattered my left arm the year I won the world. Coming out healthy, I felt like I could ride for another 10 days. It just seemed like everything was flowing together. You get in that zone and it was fun.”
Proctor hasn’t had the kind of start to 2017 that he would have liked, though.
The 31-year-old is 60th in the PBR world standings and is only 3-for-14 (21.43 percent) through the first four events.
However, outside of an injury to his right riding wrist last weekend in Sacramento, a trip to the Golden State appears to have helped Proctor get back on track.
Proctor went 2-for-4 in Sacramento – his first two-ride performance of 2017 – for a season-best 11th-place finish last weekend.
“I think it is more of a muscle issue,” Proctor said. “The way I came off (after riding Copper Star) really bruised up everything. I still have a click in my wrist, but I think that has been there for a while. It is what it is.
Proctor is looking to build off his Sacramento showing in familiar territory Friday night at the Honda Center.
The Grand Coulee, Washington, bull rider won the 2013 Built Ford Tough Series event in Anaheim by going a perfect 4-for-4.
Proctor has drawn American Hustle for Round 1. American Hustle bucked off Proctor in 1.83 seconds at the 2015 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
“I need to be more consistent,” Proctor said. “Not have such rapid highs and such rapid lows. It is all about consistency. Cooper Davis stayed consistent all year and won a world title doing it. He rode awesome the entire year. He is a great example of what you need to do to win something like that.”
Proctor became the first bull rider to win $1 million in both the PBR and PRCA last year.
He has earned $1.2 million in his 12-year PBR career and $1.1 million on the rodeo trail.
“It was a goal I kind of set for myself early on last year,” Proctor said. “To some people, it is not that great of a goal, but to be a millionaire in both associations and to be the only one to do it so far is amazing for me.”
Proctor still aspires to be the first bull rider to win the championship in the PBR and PRCA in the same season.
Tuff Hedeman is the only bull rider to have won a PRCA bull riding title and a PBR World Championship in his career.
“That is the ultimate goal,” Proctor said. “That is something that makes you immortal in this sport. You have to prove yourself week in and week out. It is doing those great accomplishments that make people remember your name.”
Proctor finished 2016 11th in the world standings, but struggled for long stretches of the season.
He was the No. 1 bull rider in the world standings following his Iron Cowboy victory, but a career-worst buckoff streak and an infection in his left arm from that 2011 NFR injury slowed down his momentum.
Proctor ended up having two plates and 16 screws removed from his arm in May.
“I had surgery right after Last Cowboy Standing in Vegas and finally got my infection out of my body,” Proctor said. “That was a big issue for me for a long time. I just didn’t feel healthy. I felt OK, but when you could shoot infection 10 feet across the room, that is not a good feeling. It weakens your whole body, your immune system and everything.
“Everything affects you a little more, but that is part of the sport. You just go and continue what you need to do.”
Proctor has set a smaller goal of winning at least three BFTS events in 2017.
“I want to win three events,” he said. “I won two three years, but I have never quite got that third one. I want to focus on being a little more consistent and getting that third one. Last year, I won St. Louis and Iron Cowboy, but I just came up short getting that third one won. Once I get past that I think from there the third and fourth one will be a lot easier.”
With the infection way in the past, Proctor is looking forward to a healthier and more successful 2017.
“I pride myself for being a cowboy and getting on a lot of bulls,” Proctor concluded. “I am 31 years old and I think I got four more years in me. We will keep on going.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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