Stay calm, and enjoy the moment.
When bull rider Shane Proctor adopted this credo, it turned his world upside down and left him right side up.
During the first five years of his pro rodeo career, Proctor earned just $83,815 on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit. He did a little better on the Professional Bull Riders circuit, but this year he has dominated the sport, earning more than $400,000 between the two circuits.
“My downfall was I would get too excited and make mistakes,” the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Proctor said. “That’s the human aspect — we make things harder than they have to be.”
Proctor, from Grand Coulee, will ride tonight at the 63rd annual Horse Heaven Round-Up Rodeo. Kennewick was one of five titles he won last year on the PRCA circuit.
Proctor, 26, will be on the back of a young bull with no name from the Big Bend/Flying 5 Rodeo Company, but he said that is not an issue.
“It’s just another bull to get on,” Proctor said. “He’s going to do what he’s going to do. If I do my job, I will be successful. I just have to keep everything simple.”
His cavalier attitude has put him at the top of the PRCA bull riding standings this year with $127,096, and he’s headed to his first National Finals Rodeo.
“The NFR has been my driving factor all year,” said Proctor, who also picked up a $100,000 payday in Calgary, Alberta — but the money doesn’t count toward the NFR. “That’s one of the main reasons we do this.”
Proctor has been to the PBR finals four times (2006, 2008-10) and is headed to a fifth. He has picked up a ton of frequent flier miles this year by deciding to attend more PRCA events.
“It’s kind of funny — the last five years, I haven’t really done a lot of PRCA,” Proctor said. “This year, I made the commitment to do more. The PBR has been real good to me this year, but I had a chance to do more rodeos, and it has gone pretty well.”
Even though he has done well in the PRCA — winning 12 rodeos (excluding Calgary) — the PBR keeps drawing him back.
“Not taking anything away from the PRCA, but in the PBR, the top 40 riders go week in and week out,” Proctor said. “I love what I do. You want to be competing against the best every week, and you want to be the best.”
Most PBR events are televised, which Proctor said is a bonus in getting exposure to the sport.
Proctor wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to how many miles he has traveled this year competing on both circuits, but he looks forward to being back in the Northwest. He will arrive in Spokane today and make the two-hour drive to Kennewick.
“I’m my own travel agent. Me and Orbitz are good friends,” said Proctor, who now lives in Mooresville, N.C., with wife Jessi. “I like rodeoing wherever. It doesn’t matter as long as there is good stock and good people. It’s always nice to be close to home and see family and friends I don’t normally get to see.
“I’ll be up in the Northwest for 10 days, then I’ll head back to North Carolina for three days,” he added. “Then I’ll be back for Lewiston (Idaho) and Pendleton.”
Proctor is coming off a big win last weekend in the PBR, where he rode After Party for a final-round score of 88.75 to win the Bass Pro Shops Chute Out in San Antonio. He pocketed $45,027.
His last big win in a PRCA event was at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, July 23-31 in Wyoming, where he picked up $9,379.
The rodeo arena isn’t the only place Proctor shows his wild side.
He and brother-in-law J.B. Mauney — also a PBR superstar — appeared on the 2010 season finale of the TLC show LA Ink. Proctor got a cowboy guardian angel on his left biceps, while Mauney got a skeleton with smoking guns on his right shoulder.
“That was a lot of fun,” Proctor said.
w Annie Fowler: 582-1574; firstname.lastname@example.org