Posted: Aug 30, 2012 4:30 PM by Q2 Sports
KENNEWICK, Wash. - Three seems to be Shane Proctor's lucky number at the moment. Proctor needed three airline flights to get to southeastern Washington last Friday so he could climb on a three-year-old bull and win the Horse Heaven Round-Up for the third consecutive year.
It is an amazing bit of consistency. Proctor won in Horse Heaven Arena two years ago with a score of 89 points, repeated last year with an 88 and completed the triple this time with an 89 on Flying 5 Rodeo Company's No. 928, for an average score of 88.67.
In these last three years he's hauled $12,483 out of Benton County, including the check for $4,332 that came with this year's win.
"I don't know why I've had so much success there," Proctor said. "It's like I've had good days there in the past and the bulls just buck with me there. I've gotten on a couple of young ones there in recent years and they turned out great.
"This one was explosive. He got up high in the air on the first two jumps and then went around to the left. If he wasn't the best in the pen, he was the second best. Sometimes you just have to be a little lucky with what you draw."
Proctor's streak at Kennewick seemed in jeopardy earlier in the week when a severe head cold forced him to skip the Xtreme Bulls Division 2 events in Kennewick and Bremerton, Wash. He went home to North Carolina to rest and get healthy.
Motivated by his prior success in Horse Heaven Arena and his need to make up ground on the bull riders ahead of him in the world standings, he undertook a cross-country odyssey - while still sick - to get there in time for the rodeo.
"I flew from Charlotte (N.C.) to San Francisco to Portland (Ore.) and then from Portland to Spokane (Wash.)," Proctor said. "My dad had parked my van in Spokane for me, so when I got there I only had about a 2½-3 hour drive down to Kennewick. It definitely made for a long day, but it all worked out the way I wanted, so no complaints.
"I mean I still feel crummy; I've been sick for about 10 days, but it's OK. One of the timers (Sindy Jackson) who is a good friend of my mom's caught me napping on the stairs at Coeur D'Alene and woke me up so I'd be ready for my ride. I'll get 10-12 hours' sleep tonight, fly to Denver (Monday) and ride in Pueblo. It's that time of the year. I have to keep pushing to make up ground. I can rest later."
Proctor arrived in Kennewick in eighth place in the world standings with $65,314, despite a late start to the season after breaking his left (free) arm in the 10th round of last December's Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The money he won there and a win the next day in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, advanced his bid to repeat as world champion; he's in sixth place in the Aug. 27 rankings.
Steer wrestler Casey Martin was the only contestant at Kennewick to out-earn Proctor. Martin pocketed $5,821 for finishing second in the first round (3.7 seconds), sharing first place with Tyler Waguespack in the second round (3.5 each) and winning the average outright.
"It's not easy to get a time like that," Martin told the Tri-City Herald about his 3.5-second run. "Everything has to work to get it that fast, and it did. The steer was a little slower than most, and I got a really good start. I'm in the hunt (for the NFR) and getting closer."
The win (and checks in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and Bremerton, Wash.) moved Martin from 23rd all the way to 15th in the world standings.
The other champions at the $158,331 Horse Heaven Round-Up were bareback rider Matt Bright (84 points), team ropers David Key and Bucky Campbell (10.5 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Brad Rudolf (86 points), tie-down roper Jake Hannum (16.9 seconds on two head) and barrel racer Pamela Capper (17.34 seconds).
Apart from Proctor, Capper was the only other repeat champion.