by Jim Bainbridge | Oct 16, 2015
By Ted Harbin/for the RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo committee
DUNCAN, Okla. – Jake Long and Coleman Proctor both own Prairie Circuit titles, though the team ropers didn’t earn them together or in the same year.
They are trying to do just that in 2015, and they made a stronger case Oct. 15 during the opening go-round of the Chisholm Trail RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo. Proctor, a header from Pryor, Okla., and Long, a heeler from Coffeyville, Kan., stopped the clock in 5.6 seconds to win the round at the Stephens County Expo Center.
“I feel like I’ve got a really good horse, so I just try to use him and then use Jake, because Jake heels really good,” said Proctor, who won the circuit finals average championship a year ago while roping with Billie Saebens. “I wanted to catch the steer and set him up so Jake could heel him fast. I feel blessed to have a great job heading for Jake.”
Proctor first won a Prairie Circuit year-end title in 2004 in heeling, then Long followed that four years later. They return to the three-day championship together for the first time in about seven years.
“This is the first time I’ve competed at the circuit finals in Duncan,” Long said. “I had a hard time getting (a minimum of) 15 (circuit) rodeos. Last year I went to some and just didn’t qualify; this year it’s fun to be back.”
The momentum certainly is there. In addition to an increased purse in Duncan – for winning the round, Proctor and Long pocketed $1,765 each – the tandem is hoping to clinch qualifications to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., which features just the year-end and circuit-finals champs from each of the 12 PRCA regional circuits.
“He heeled that like he was supposed to go to Disney World,” Proctor said, noting that Kissimmee is just 17 miles southeast of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
It’s true. While the national circuit finals features a great purse for the contestants, there is more to draw Long and his family, including wife, Tasha, and their daughters, Haven and Haizlee.
“My wife and little girl want to go to Disney World, so it’s very important,” Long said with a laugh. “I have more pressure for that than trying to get out there to rope for some money.”
They still have some work to do over the two remaining rounds of the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16-17. Proctor and Long extended their lead in the year-end standings; Proctor’s $14,564 is about $3,700 better than Zac Small of Welch, Okla., while Long’s $15,480 is $2,767 higher than Tyler Worley of Nawata, Okla.
“We came in the lead, and we’ve both won the year-end in heeling, but I’ve never won it heading,” Proctor said. “It’s special, so one more goal on my list is to win the Prairie Circuit heading one time.”
Courtesy of PRCA