LAS VEGAS – Coleman Proctor is no stranger to the nuances of the National Finals Rodeo.
“It’s funny how you win money here once or win a go-round, and things just come back in your favor,” he said after Monday’s run of 4.3 seconds to finish fourth on Night 4 of team roping with his heeler, Logan Medlin. “It’s nice to get on a roll.
“I didn’t do a very good job of scoring,” he said, referring to starting on time when the steer is released. “I missed the barrier pretty good. I had a steer I really liked, but I just didn’t trust myself scoring, and I missed the start a little bit, which then made my shot harder. (The steer) squared off, giving my partner a good shot to heel him.”
The result was a second straight night of earning money; he and Medlin won Sunday’s third round after two no-scores to open this year’s championship. Since they arrived in Sin City, they have each earned nearly $54,000 – $10,000 of that came from bonuses they received for their qualifications.
“Any time you’re trying to win a go-round at the National Finals, you can’t be as late as I was,” said Proctor, an eight-time NFR qualifier from Pryor, Oklahoma. “I was very fortunate that being late at the barrier just cost us winning a round instead. I’m glad to still get some money out of it.
“It’s funny, because a guy can get out here to thinking about, ‘Oh, man, fourth,’ but yet I still won $13,000. Winning that kind of money the week of the Fourth of July is a pretty good Fourth, and you travel a lot further and have to beat a lot more guys for that kind of money. There’s just so much money in Vegas that it can skew your thinking a little bit. I’m certainly glad to be rocking and rolling.”
They’re pushing toward the top of the world standings. Proctor is fifth on the heading money list with $187,071 and still has six rounds in which to collect Las Vegas money.
“Any time you can get a check against the top 15 in the world, you’re doing a great job,” he said. “I was excited. I made a bobble, and I still cashed in for $13,000.
“My roping feels really good. Everything’s felt good. My mental game feels great. I’m in a good place mentally every time I walk into the (roping) box. Physically I feel really good, and my horses feel great. What’s carried both me and Logan through the first few rounds was the preparation we’ve put into this. I mean, you come out here, and you dream of having the week that Clint Summers and Jake Long are having, but you have to take what you get.”
Summers and Long have won three of the four rounds. Proctor and Long have been friends since childhood and even roped at the NFR together. There’s a bond they will always have, and seeing Long have so much success is good for Proctor’s soul.
“Obviously it looks right now like Clint and Jake have a pretty good grasp on things, but you never know how it’s going to play out,” Proctor said. “I know how hard he’s worked at this, and I’m thrilled with the week they’re having, but we’re going to keep doing everything we can do to run them down.”