By: Justin Felisko
May 13, 2016
LAS VEGAS – Shane Proctor hasn’t successfully ridden a bull at the Built Ford Tough Series level in two-and-a-half months.
After taking over the world No. 1 ranking when he won the last PBR Major – Iron Cowboy – Proctor never would have thought he would fail to make the 8-second mark again.
Yet, to his dismay, that is exactly what happened. The 2016 Iron Cowboy champion has bucked off a career-high 19 in a row and it hasn’t been any fun to say the least.
Regardless, Proctor has handled his slump as best as he can, repeatedly saying “that’s just bull riding” as his buckoff streak continues to climb.
With another PBR Major set to commence Friday night with Last Cowboy Standing, Proctor is looking forward to nipping that streak in the bud.
“I have my own personal prediction for Last Cowboy Standing and I think it is going to come true,” Proctor said in Des Moines, Iowa. “The last bull I rode at a Built Ford Tough was at Iron Cowboy and I won Iron Cowboy, so I am predicting myself to win Last Cowboy Standing.”
Proctor doesn’t laugh or add that he is joking.
At this point, he is trying to remain positive, noting that despite his awful stretch he is still only 353.34 points behind world leader J.B. Mauney.
In fact, he could still enter the Built Ford Tough Series summer break as the No. 1 ranked bull rider.
“It is what it is,” Proctor said. “At least I am not going farther down the standings than I have. Eight hundred points at Last Cowboy Standing will sure put you in the right position. I wish I could change what happened the last six weeks, but I can’t. Every day is a new one and every streak starts with one.”
All of Round 1 can be seen live on CBS Sports Network beginning with the Inside the PBR Majors, presented by B&W Trailer Hitches, pre-show at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Round 2 and the conclusion of Last Cowboy Standing will air on CBS national television Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.
Proctor is 14-for-43 (32.56 percent) on the BFTS with two wins and two Top-5 finishes. He also has grown quite the beard since fans last saw him compete in Des Moines.
The Grand Coulee, Washington, bull rider refused to blame his left arm (free arm) as a factor for his recent struggles. Proctor is scheduled to have two plates and 16 screws removed from his arm following the Helldorado Days Rodeo by Dr. Tandy Freeman next week.
Proctor’s body has been rejecting the plates the past couple of seasons after he first had them inserted in Dec. 2011. The arm has gotten progressively worse in the last six months to where the plates are beginning to poke out of his skin.
“Over the last couple of years, my body has started rejecting the plates and they have started to work their way out and open it up,” Proctor said. “It is more of a nuisance. It has been open since last year’s PBR Finals. I can’t do nothing about it and I just have to focus on doing my job and getting it done.”
Proctor is expected to miss about 4-6 weeks.
The surgery won’t cause Proctor to miss any of the BFTS second half, and he added the procedure shouldn’t prevent him from still being able to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December.
Proctor is currently fifth in the PRCA bull riding standings with $35,601.43. He did go 3-for-3 in Austin, Texas, to win Rodeo Austin amidst his BFTS slump.
“It will make stuff a little bit tougher, but it is really not,” he said. “I have put myself in a really good situation so far this year. This is the second season I have had the most money won, as far as heading into the summer run. I know if I can usually have about $10,000 won by Reno I will have a really good shot at making it. I got a little over $30,000 won now, so I feel like I am in a good position.”
It was at the 2011 NFR – when Proctor won the 2011 PRCA bull riding championship – where he shattered his arm attempting to ride Black Attack, resulting in the two plates and 16 screws that now need to come out.
“I will have to build the muscle back up, but that is just where they cut through them like any surgery,” Proctor said. “Pretty much the only thing that it will affect is, the bone is healed, but the arm is not going to be as strong because the plates made it that much stronger. I will just have to get confidence in it again.
“It is just going to be an arm. I won’t be the titanium man anymore.”
Instead, he may be the Iron Cowboy and the Last Cowboy Standing.
Proctor has drawn Cash Flo (1-0, BFTS) for Round 1. Cash Flo bucked off Kasey Hayes in 3.83 seconds in Billings, Montana, earlier this season.
If Proctor is victorious in Las Vegas, he would join Joao Ricardo Vieira as the only two riders to win Iron Cowboy and Last Cowboy Standing in the same season.
Proctor is third among active riders with six qualified rides in Last Cowboy Standing formatted events.
“Last Cowboy Standing, I love that format,” Proctor said. “It keeps me from thinking and it just keeps me reacting to what is going on. That is a big part of my riding. Riding off emotions and riding off feel and reaction instead of thinking about what I need to do and what has to happen.
“React and go at it.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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