PUEBLO, Colo. – Shane Proctor has always wanted to put on a bull riding school in Powell, Wyoming, after competing as part of the Northwest College rodeo team from 2004-05.
Proctor, who took health and fitness education classes, has long been proud of his association with the Trappers and makes it a habit of returning to campus to visit with his college coach, Del Nose, whenever he may be in town competing at a local bull riding.
Therefore, the Grand Coulee, Washington, native was extremely happy to have four members of the Trappers – Billy Cobler, Tyler Sterner, Tyler Donnelly and Casey Fredericks – and Nose attend his bull riding school earlier this week at the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington.
“I learned a lot at that college,” Proctor said. “They used to bring Gary Leffew to that college to help us and it is now my turn to give back to them. I spent a lot of years going up and down the road and they definitely provided a good base for me, so it is really neat to be able to help them and help a community that I really care about.”
Proctor has been hosting his bull riding school on the reservation for six years, but this is the first year he has brought in college bull riders. Beyond the four college bull riders, there were an additional 31 kids all of ages – which received a sweatshirt and ball cap courtesy of the PBR – attending the camp.
The 10-year BFTS veteran qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo two times, and he finished in the Top 12 of all three roughstock events (bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding) at the 2005 Finals.
“A lot of people don’t even realize that they have college rodeo,” Proctor said. “For a lot of rodeo athletes, that is a great way to go. There are a lot of really good rodeo schools and it gives you a chance to get an education doing what you love. I loved college. I should have stayed in college longer.”
Proctor qualified for his first PBR World Finals in 2006 at 20 years old and has 18 credits remaining toward receiving his degree. He plans on finishing up his education once his bull riding career is over.
“I was going to college and pushing the limits on getting to the next level,” he said. “It gave me a huge foundation.”
Proctor is currently the 14th bull rider in the world standings and has ridden 18-of-39 bulls (46.15 percent). It is his highest riding percentage since the 2011 season, when he finished ninth on the BFTS and won the 2011 PRCA bull riding championship.
In college, Proctor would get on two barebacks, two saddle broncs and two bulls every Tuesday and Thursday.
“Shane was very focused and very motivated in all three riding events,” Nose recalled. “He always kept that fire in the belly – that wanting to do better and wanting to improve. When he was in the practice pen, he was a fierce competitor, as well as in the arena.”
Proctor brought that same intensity and passion to his bull riding school this week.
“I try to drill the basics of bull riding into them,” Proctor said. “I teach pointing the shoulder and letting that bull run into your knees and bringing your knees up and getting off your pockets and trying to really take that power away. That is just my style and that is the way I try and teach it.”
Nose called Proctor a “natural” coach and said that his former bull rider’s enthusiasm was well-received. The Trappers drove 11 hours to attend the school.
“He is very sharp and very stern about what he knows and how gets it across,” Nose said. “Our guys that came to the school had fallen into the groove with some bad habits that needed to be broke. It was a little tough on some guys, but by the end of the day, and the next morning, when they got back on the barrel they were getting it.”
Cobler got to work one-on-one with Proctor on the drop barrel. The school was beneficial to the sophomore bull rider who had only begun bull riding last season.
“I got on the drop barrel a few times with Shane and we were all struggling with that, but he was really helping all of us,” Cobler said. “By the end of the school, I had what he wanted me doing on the drop barrel down pretty good. I am excited to have that information and get on some bulls and apply that every day until it becomes my reaction.”
The 19-year-old rides with a Brazilian-style bull rope and said being able to also practice alongside Stetson Lawrence was very helpful. Lawrence and Colby Reilly were guest instructors at Proctor’s camp.
“I don’t know anyone at a high-enough level that rides with a Brazilian and it was nice to get to talk to Stetson on how to do things right. He actually showed me how to set up my rope in the chute and little different things I didn’t know. Just the finer techniques about using the rope. They were things I didn’t know and really helped me out.”
Fredericks said he worked with Proctor on his ability to post up and getting up over his bulls.
“He told me straight up what I was doing wrong and what I should work on,” the freshman said. “It was good. I really walked away with being able to get out over them more. It is very important. You ride the rank ones right out over them.”
Proctor hopes to host more schools once he is done riding bulls professionally. He believes everything in the sport starts with the fundamentals, but the biggest message he tries to preach to his students is one that he was taught by his parents, Lucky and Kathy.
“Throughout my entire life, work ethic is something that has always moved me on to the next level,” Proctor said. “I have always been able to outwork the next person. If that is something I can teach the kids, then that is awesome.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.