DUNCAN, Okla. – With their second trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo together on the horizon, team ropers – header Coleman Proctor and heeler Jake Long got a good tune-up Saturday night.
The duo capped the three-day RAM Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo (Oct. 15-17) by winning the average with an 18.0-second time on three head at the Stephens County Expo Center.
“It is honor to win any time you can,” Long said. “This rodeo was a lot of fun. We roped together from 2007 to 2009 off and on, but I think we were just both a little green (back then). We kind of lacked that experience factor and now we are just older and wiser and we rope better than we did then.”
Proctor concurred with his partner.
“This is exactly what I had hoped for,” Proctor said. “I won the circuit heeling in 2004, and it was personal goal to win it in heading after missing out in 2009. There is great competition in the Prairie Circuit and I will be proud to represent it at the RNCFR. The rodeo committee goes above and beyond here in Duncan, and the contestants really appreciate all they do.”
Both Proctor and Long had success in the past at the RPCFR, but never together. They clinched the average crown with a 6.6-second run in the third round. That performance helped the duo not only win the average, but also win the year-end title. Thus, Proctor and Long qualified for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo April 7-10 in Kissimmee, Fla.
“Any time you can get an opportunity to go over and rope in Florida for that kind of money, that means a lot to you financially, and we are really looking forward to going there.”
Proctor and Long set the tone at the RPCFR by winning the first round with a 5.6-second run and then they followed that up with a 5.8-second run in round two which was good for third place. That set the stage for their solid final run. The duo left Duncan with $5,737 each in winnings.
“We had the advantage of going last in the first round and we got off to a good start,” Long said. “We didn’t do anything overly special, but we made three good runs and we came out on top. We knew if we made a good clean run (in the third round) we would win it.”
Now, Proctor and Long are preparing for their second trip together to the WNFR Dec. 3-12 in Las Vegas. They finished fourth in the heading and third in heeling standings, respectively, a year ago.
“Those three or four weeks in November we will be practicing pretty much every day for it (the WNFR),” said Long, who is making his fifth trip to the WNFR. “It’s every kid’s dream to get to go out there (the Finals) and compete and I truly feel fortunate to get to go again.”
Other winners at the $177,324 rodeo were bareback rider Cain Riddle (244 points on three head), steer wrestler Stockton Graves (12.4 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Ryan Bestol (226 on three head), tie-down roper Cole Bailey (25.5 seconds on three head), barrel racer Mary Burger (49.18 seconds on three runs), steer roper Rocky Patterson (35.5 seconds on three head) and bull rider Trevor Kastner (136 points on two head).
Courtesy of PRCA