LAS VEGAS – Just when Lady Luck looked as though she were angry with Coleman Proctor, he was dealt a winning hand.
After three rough rounds – a couple of penalties in the opener and two no-times to kick start his 10 days in Sin City – Proctor and his heeling partner, Ryan Motes, cashed in their chips in Sunday’s fourth round of the National Finals Rodeo. They stopped the clock in 3.8 seconds, just one-tenth of a second behind the winners, Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison.
That second-place finish was worth $20,731, but the value bet was even greater for the header from Pryor, Oklahoma.
“I finally got that monkey off my back, because he was getting pretty heavy,” Proctor said. “It’s been rough, but everything’s feeling great, my horse is great, and I’m pretty happy. I’m beginning to get control of the start out here.
“I still have a lot of confidence. I feel relaxed. I feel like we’re prepared and ready, and we’ll just take advantage of the opportunities when they come.”
Through the stress of the intense competition – and the troubles that have come his way through the early runs at the NFR – he has maintained a positive attitude. He posts daily on social media, always smiling, always upbeat. It’s one of the reasons he continues to be a fan favorite in Las Vegas.
“I said before I got here that I wanted to just enjoy this experience, and I have,” he said. “I’m sleeping great. I’m not stressed out here. Things happen. It’s been a blessed year, and it’s a blessing to be back here and getting to rope again (Monday).
“I think the one thing that helped with that is the setup we had for practice. We know what we need to do in this barn. I think if a guy was less than prepared, a guy would get nervous. We had three bad breaks. I’m one of the luckiest humans in the world, and I knew they couldn’t keep me down all 10 nights.”
The game plan he and Motes put together prior to the NFR was to get off to a quick start. They’ve adjusted the blue print as needed.
“It just didn’t go our way, and little, silly stuff was happening,” Proctor said. “It didn’t rattle my confidence, because we’ve had such a great year. My partner is one of the best in the world, and I trust him with everything I’ve got when we back into the box.
“It is what it is, but we’re having a good time.”
He also made the right adjustments to perform a little better Sunday, albeit psychologically. It’s more like a superstition than anything, but sometimes gamblers need to change seats or flip their hats around if they need to get the cards coming a different way.
“I got me a new hat, a new pair of boots and pulled out my new five-strand Lone Star rope,” he said with a laugh. “My dad told me that if you’re the one that throws fast balls, then go throw fast balls. I brought it as fast as I could.
“I’ve never celebrated that much for a second-place finish in my life. It felt just great.”