FORT WORTH, Texas ― Ever since moving to North Carolina, Shane Proctor has proclaimed, “I’m a Washington cowboy and I’ll always be a Washington cowboy.”
The 29-year-old Washington native returns home to host his annual bull riding school on the Colville Indian Reservation, where his parents have taught at a local school, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
His mother, Kathy, teaches computer science and business, while his father, Lucky, taught physical education until recently retiring. The Proctor family moved to the area when Lucky took a job as the high school football coach, but over time he focused on coaching track and field.
Proctor got the idea for hosting the school five years ago in the early morning hours of a long 750-mile drive from Mooresville, N.C., up to Uncasville, Conn., for a Built Ford Tough Series event at Mohegan Sun.
It was 3 a.m., so Proctor waited until later that morning to call home to talk with his mother about the idea.
“When you’re sitting there driving you start thinking, and I just thought I wanted to give back to the people who helped me ride,” Proctor recalled.
With the help of his family and support from his hometown community of Grand Coulee, he held his first school three months later in the same outdoor arena he learned to ride bulls.
Shane Proctor teaches during his 2013 bull riding school in Grand Coulee, Wash.
Proctor will also have some much-needed additional help this week fromBen Jones, Dakota Beck and Washington native Colby Reilly as fellow instructors in the arena.
This is the second time that Jones has helped with the clinic.
“People don’t know this, but Ben’s really good with kids,” Proctor said. “He’s a really good instructor.”
The Aussie cares about kids.
Proctor recalled Jones’ first trip to the school and remembers the BFTS fan favorite running alongside every bull being bucked both days. Not only did he cheer for every kid, they loved him in return.
That’s not a onetime thing for Jones.
J.W. Hart has watched Jones develop a special friendship along with his son, Wacey Dalton Hart, who thinks the world of Jones.
“I don’t know what it is,” Hart wondered. “Not a lot of people have that knack—he does.”
Hart added, “Ben has a lot to offer in more ways than one.”
Jones simply said he’s “helping the next generation” when it comes to Proctor’s clinic.
Hart is not surprised to hear Proctor talk highly of Jones’ work with kids.
As a matter of fact, Hart shared a story from last year’s BFTS event in Springfield, Mo., when Jones taught Wacey how to rosin a bull rope. Jones let the then, 3-year-old actually apply the rosin on his rope and then showed him how to work in and make the rope sticky.
Hart said that despite the difficulty some men have when it comes to communicating and teaching kids, Jones has a unique ability to talk and visit with youngsters of all ages.
“He has that gift,” Hart said, “and they listen.”
Having come from a family of teachers, Proctor was quick to recognize the same attributes in Jones.
“They loved him,” said Proctor. “Right now it’ll be good for (Jones) because it’ll remind him of why he does the sport. I think, that’s a lot of Ben’s challenge, he forgets. That’s what I found from a lot of my instructors in the past, it reminds them of why they ride and the basics of riding instead of the big lights and the money.”
Jones, who is currently ranked 46th, competed at a Touring Pro Division event this past weekend, in Waco, Texas, and is scheduled to ride again this coming weekend at a TPD event in Arkansas.
Ben Jones assists a student last year at Shane Proctor’s bull riding school.
For a fifth time, Proctor has also enlisted the services of Washington-based stock contractors Mike Corey and Steve Katich, who will supply the livestock.
Both were in Nampa, Idaho, this past weekend, and by having the school on Tuesday and Wednesday, it allows them to head home and reload their trailers for the long haul to Billings, as well as a two-day stop in Grand Coulee.
Katich’s ranch is less than an hour away.
Following the first day of instruction, there will be a potluck dinner Tuesday for the whole community that includes Indian drummers and a full ceremony.
The instructors will also be available for autographs, photos and conversation.
“It’s a great event,” said Proctor.
Last year, they instructed 38 students. This year, they cut the list off at 35 – with another 30 to 35 kids being placed on a waiting list. The cost is only $50 per student compared to other schools around the country that charge anywhere from $300 to $500.
“For some of those kids, it’s pretty hard to come by,” said Proctor. “It’s a very good opportunity for them.”
Proctor is proud to share what he has learned over the years and to give them a positive outlet.
He added, “It’s about passing on tradition.”
Shane Proctor continues to cover well from shoulder surgery.
It’s been 11 weeks and, according to Proctor, he’s regained 90 percent of his motion.
He and his wife, Jessie, are planning on attending the Last Cowboy Standing in Las Vegas so that he can be re-evaluated by Dr. Tandy Freeman. Proctor said he’s ahead of schedule and hopes to return to competition in early June.
In the meantime, he’s been working on maintaining his cardio and recently resumed yoga.
Proctor plans to schedule a mix of Touring Pro Division events and pro rodeos this summer along with competing at the Calgary Stampede, which he won in 2011—the same year he also won Cheyenne Frontier Days and the PRCA title.
He’s coming off a ninth-place finish in last year’s PBR world standings and has been ranked in the Top 10 twice in the past three years.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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