LAS VEGAS – Coleman Proctor and Jake Long are pretty good in pink.
For the second straight year, the team ropers earned a share of the victory during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo’s fifth go-round, which is dubbed “Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night” to help draw awareness to the fight against breast cancer.
“We won Round 5 last year,” said Proctor, a header from Pryor, Okla., who is making his second straight appearance at the NFR. “It was really special to have my first go-round win with (Jake), and now I’ve got my second one with him. It’s just an awesome experience.”
Proctor has been roping most of his life with Long, a five-time NFR qualifying heeler from Coffeyville, Kan. The two began competing as youngsters, and they’ve been partners on and off in ProRodeo. They plan to compete next year on the circuit with different partners, but they still plan to keep the partnership going in some ways as long as they can.
“We’re going to continue to rope together, and you never know what the future brings, but for the time being, we’re going to try some new things,” Long said. “It’d be awesome to go out on a high note and put a bow on the fairytale that has been our last two years.”
Proctor and Long stopped the clock in 4.0 seconds on Monday night to share the victory with Derrick Begay and Clay O’Brien Cooper – it marked the third time Begay and Cooper have earned at least a share of the round victory. It was the second paycheck for the Oklahoma-Kansas duo, who finished third place during the third go-round on Saturday night. They have earned more than $39,000 in five nights.
That has pushed them to eighth in the world standings. Proctor has a season total of $119,264.
“Tonight I got on my old faithful horse, Booger, that I’ve had since I was a little bitty kid,” Proctor said. “I’ve headed and heeled for Jake on him for many years.
“We’ve been together a long time, 18 years. He’s just a winner. It doesn’t matter if I haze on him, bulldog, rope calves on him, head and heel; he’s always giving his all and trying to help you. It’s the confidence level I have with him.”
It worked, and that $23,481 paycheck that came with sharing the round win didn’t hurt anything either.
“Last night we had a strong one, and I thought we did a good job with getting by one,” he said. “I kind of wanted to start getting a little more aggressive in these go-rounds and stay in the average, so I got on my old horse, and it felt a lot better.”
Sometimes getting on a winning streak in Vegas is all about feeling good.
“Tonight was the first night we’ve drawn here that I was excited about,” Long said. “We liked his pattern and his speed. We knew if we could do our job, it would be good. “I thought we did the smart thing and took advantage of a good steer tonight.”