The rides of her lifetime

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Proctor excited to show trick-riding skills before renowned Gooding crowd

Haley Proctor has a passion for horses and a talent for riding them, whether trick riding or roman riding, that transcends generations of rodeo showmen. She will perform at the Gooding Pro Rodeo in August.

GOODING, Idaho – By the time she was 5 years old, Haley Proctor knew what she was going to be.

In the years that have passed, her passion for being a trick rider and entertainer has only grown, and it’s why she will be performing at the Gooding Pro Rodeo, set for Thursday, Aug. 17-Saturday, Aug. 19, with a special “Beauty and the Beast” performance set for Wednesday, Aug. 16. All performances take place at 8 p.m. at Andy James Arena.

“I’m actually doing a combined act with my liberty horse and trick riding on him as well,” said Proctor, who also performs a roman riding act, balancing herself while standing astride two horses moving in unison. “It’s something I really enjoy and have for a long time.”

Her uncle, Shawn Brackett, fueled the fire when she was very young. She studied the craft and by age 6 was performing at professional rodeos. Two decades later, she’s a wife and mother who is still at the top of her game.

“Haley does a great job,” said John Harrison, a longtime trick rider who has transitioned into a rodeo clown who added humor to his acts; he and Proctor will be part of the Gooding Pro Rodeo package. “The crowd there is going to love her; you’ve got a beautiful girl riding on top of a horse, so you can’t help but love her.

“Gooding is one of those places where the high energy helps horse acts, because they’ll get to going fast, and it makes it that much more fun to watch.”

Proctor will have six horses with her when she arrives in Gooding, proof that she has a talented team along for the ride. She’s constantly working with them, making them sharp when it’s time to perform. She’s had two stalwarts in Geminey and Cricket, but she’s got a couple of younger mounts in training.

“I try to stand on the younger horses three to four times a week,” Proctor said. “If they’re not performing, I still try to get on them. I always pare them with one of my older horses. When I’m at home, I practice on my young ones. With Geminie and Cricket, I get on them to exercise them and me, but they don’t need to be tuned up.”

It’s not just performing for the talented Oklahoma lady. It’s about the relationship she has for her animals. She travels the rodeo trail with her daughter, Coulee, and husband, Shane, the 2011 bull riding world champion.

She will take advantage of her stage in Gooding, which features one of the most entertaining crowds in all of rodeo. The fans are loud and excited to see the action, whether it’s a great ride, a fast time or a beautiful brunette riding finely tuned horses. She’ll have time to continue the training and bonding with her mounts when not entertaining, but that’s just another day at the office.

“The training is never-ending,” she said. “I baby my horses a little bit, but their best interest is what’s most important thing to me. They make my living, and they are a big part of my life.”

While she’s never been to the Gooding Pro Rodeo, she’s heard about it. She’s looking forward to being in front of such an incredible crowd. That’s the showman in her, the entertainer who is eager to please a group of people who want to see something magical. They’ll get it when she rides into the arena.

“Crowd interaction is everything,” Proctor said. “If I come in and I don’t have a reaction, it’s hard to get into my performance, so the louder the better for me. All I hear from Gooding is how loud and wild they are. That’s more fun for us.

“I’m going fast the whole time, but I can go even faster with a loud crowd that’s into it. The faster we go, the more fun it is for me. They have the “Beer Worthy” section, so I better go in there and be beer worthy as well.”


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