PRYOR, Okla. – The 2022 ProRodeo regular season was one of the best of Coleman Proctor’s career.
Roping with New Mexican Logan Medlin for the second straight year, Proctor battled his way to fourth in the heading world standings, earning $110,691 as he prepares to compete at his seventh National Finals Rodeo, set for Dec. 1-10 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
It’s just proof that the tandem has put together something special and why they’re in contention to battle for the elusive world championships.
“Any time you’re making good runs consecutively, it feels like it stays easier to stay in the groove,” said Proctor, 37, who lives on 240 acres near Pryor with his wife, Stephanie, and their daughters, Stella, 5, and Caymbree, 3. “Momentum’s a sweet thing. If you can keep it going, a lot of magical things can happen.”
That’s true, and this is the time to get on a big-time roll. The NFR is the richest event in rodeo with a payout of $1.4 million. Go-round winners will pocket $29,000 per day for 10 December nights. That can make a big difference in the final outcome; the world champions in each event will be crowned when the NFR concludes.
That’s where Proctor and Medlin want to be, and they’ll have a week and a half of competition to make it happen. A year ago, they placed six nights, won the fifth go-round outright and shared first place on Night 9. In all, each man grabbed more than $106,000 in NFR earnings.
“(Last) year did give me a lot of confidence from the finals,” said Proctor, who competed in college rodeo at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and has since begun taking online classes to obtain his degree from the school in Alva, Oklahoma. “To be able to go that fast and not feel like I was trying to go that fast is absolutely big.
“I feel confident we can be more consistent and still maintain high-quality runs.”
The team will need to be fast to stay in the money. They stopped the clock in 3.8 seconds to with the fifth round, then were 3.5 to share the ninth-round title. It helped Proctor and Medlin finish the campaign eighth in the standings.
Proctor’s best season came in his inaugural year of qualifying for the NFR. He finished fourth in the world standings and made a statement. Between his talent as a roper and his brilliant personality, he’s become an important figure in rodeo and team roping.
He’s also proving his versatility as a roper. Over the past couple of years, he’s stepped into the world of steer roping, and he pushed that discipline a bit more in 2022. Because of that, he finished the regular season among the top 10 in ProRodeo’s all-around standings.
In fact, the highlight of this year’s campaign was winning the all-around championship at the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days Rodeo because of his success in both events: He earned $19,590, with more than $18,000 coming in steer roping.
“I built my arena 200 (feet) wide, because I knew one day I’d be tripping steers,” Proctor told the Team Roping Journal in July, explaining that steer roping veteran and friend Jess Tierney has been a big help to his growth in the event. “Jess let me make one run on his backup horse, Elvis, and I fell in love with it.
“I’d been playing around with it on my heel horse, and Jess said, ‘If you’re really going to do this, you need to buy a good horse.’ ”
He did, purchasing a mount from steer roper C.A. Lauer, and the bug to do it just kept getting bigger. His performance in Wyoming this past July just made it even better.
“Cheyenne – The Daddy – is a bucket-list rodeo,” Proctor told Kendra Santos. “I’ve dreamed of winning the team roping (there). To win the all-around … is like nothing else. Hopefully, someday, I’ll just be here heeling and roping steers. I love the steer roping. It’s an amazing event.”
That bodes well for the cowboy’s future in rodeo. For now, though, he’s focused on a Montana Silversmiths gold buckle as one of the elite headers in ProRodeo.