By: Justin Felisko
April 25, 2017
PUEBLO, Colo. – Shane Proctor woke up on Saturday morning in Tacoma, Washington, and couldn’t help but recall his 91.25-point ride on two-time World Champion Bull Bones in 2010.
Prior to his career-high 93.5-point ride on 2017 World Champion Bull contender Pearl Harbor later that evening, Proctor’s ride on Bones, as well as his 91.25-point ride on Say I Won’t Gunner in 2009, was the best of his career.
Coincidentally, Proctor spent some time thinking about that ride on Bones before his sensational performance on Pearl Harbor.
“When I rode Bones, when he jumped out the first jump I spurred him,” Proctor said. “I had watched Pete Farley ride him at the PBR World Finals the month before and I knew to ride the rank ones that is what you have to do. You have to go at them.
“For some reason, I just felt like this was a lot of the same. Pearl Harbor sucked me down coming around and then my hand started coming out, but I did get to spur him a couple of times at the end.”
Proctor has historically not been a 90-point home run hitter during his 12-year PBR career, and this weekend was only his eighth 90-point ride of his career.
Still, Proctor’s ride was well worth the 93.5 points he picked up as he became the first rider since two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney (94.25 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last year) to conquer the 5-year-old beast.
Pearl Harbor had bucked off 14 riders in a row, and he is averaging 46.19 points per out this year.
Quite frankly, not many people even gave Proctor a chance against Chad Berger’s bull after Pearl Harbor demolished Matt Triplett in 1.98 seconds for a 47.5-point bull score in Billings, Montana, two weeks earlier.
“This is what the PBR is all about,” an excited Justin McBride said during the CBS national television broadcast. “Matching up these guys against rank, great bulls week in and week out. Here is the thing. Proctor was a huge underdog in this matchup, but this is the ability that these guys have. On any given day they can pull off a ride like this.”
Proctor agreed he was an underdog.
“I knew the odds were stacked against me because that is the No. 1 ranked bull in the PBR right now,” Proctor said. “He is the best thing going right now. He has proven why he is. A lot of people probably thought I couldn’t ride him, but I knew I could.
Proctor had actually been wanting to get on Pearl Harbor recently.
“I have been wanting to draw him for a little while,” he said. “I had debated a couple times about picking him. There was something about him I liked. I don’t know what it was. I knew if he went to the left it would be a dog fight. I thought if he went to the right he would fit my style. Luckily, it did.”
Proctor added that Stetson Lawrence, who broke his left hip on Sunday afternoon in Tacoma, gave him some good advice prior to taking on Pearl Harbor.
“Stetson Lawrence told me just sit up,” Proctor said. “Everybody tries to get over the front of him and they end up clicking their feet. He said, ‘Sit up and let him do his thing. Set your hips, be patient and just ride him.”
Proctor did just that for his first career 15/15 Bucking Battle victory.
The 32-year-old is ranked 13th in the world standings heading into the two-week Built Ford Tough Series break before Last Cowboy Standing on May 12-13.
He is 16-for-43 (37.21 percent) in 14 events with an event victory (Anaheim, California) and three Top-5 finishes.
The Grand Coulee, Washington, native, and crowd favorite in Tacoma, admitted the “stars aligned” this weekend in his favor.
Pearl Harbor was only marked 45.5 points and had a weaker day for his standards, but he still felt just as strong, said Proctor.
“He bucked. I don’t know. It just goes blank,” Proctor said. “The judges marked him what they mark him. I know a lot of guys don’t get that far. When he was marked 47.5 it was a 1-second ride. To see a bull go a full 8 seconds, sometimes they weaken off a little bit. He wasn’t used to having someone on that long.”
Proctor expects the two to meet again.
“I would definitely pick him again,” Proctor concluded. “I am sure we are going to meet up again some time and it may not go my way, but this time it did.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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