LAS VEGAS – The tide continues to roll in the right direction for team roping header Coleman Proctor of Pryor, Okla.
After sharing the victory in Round 5 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on Monday, Proctor and heeler Jake Long of Coffeyville, Kan., posted another solid run on the sixth night of ProRodeo’s championship event to earn their third paycheck. Their Round 6 run of 4.3 seconds was good enough for a tie of fifth place, worth $5,500.
They have now earned nearly $45,000 each with four rounds remaining in the 10-day championship. Proctor has pushed his 2015 earnings to $124,764 and sits fifth in the world standings – he remains more than $56,000 behind the leader, Derrick Begay.
But that gap can be closed in a hurry with go-round winners pocketing more than $26,000 a night through the 10-round finale.
Just as importantly as the go-round checks is the tandem’s place in the average race, which will pay out an end-of-the-Wrangler NFR bonus to the top eight teams that have the fastest times in the 10-run aggregate. Proctor and Long sit third with a total time of 33.9 seconds on six runs; they are just 3.5 seconds behind average leaders Erich Rogers and Cory Petska.
Those average checks paid out after Saturday’s 10th go-round – the final night of the 2015 season – will make a huge difference in who is crowned world champion in both the heading and heeling disciplines. The average champions in each event will add $67,269.
Should Proctor remain in third place in the average through the rest of the week, he would add $43,154 to his total.
That means it is vital for he and Long to continue their hot streak. A year ago, they rolled through the momentum of the later rounds to finish fourth in the average and fourth in the final world standings. They’d like to better that this week.
Proctor arrived in Las Vegas last week No. 13 in the world standings. His earnings in Sin City have given the Oklahoma cowboy with Cherokee heritage a shot at the elusive Montana Silversmiths world championship gold buckle.
Now he has four days to make it all happen, all while roping with Long, the same cowboy with whom he has roped since childhood. The cowboys – who live just 70 miles from one another – began roping together at age 12. Now they’re closing out their second straight Wrangler NFR qualification together and hope to do so with a bang.
That’s what this championship is all about.