Bull riding champ endures painful journey
Befitting a world champion, Shane Proctor was being chauffeured across the country on Monday but he would have much rather had his hands on the wheel.
Proctor wasn’t driving because of the pain killers he was taking for the broken arm he suffered just minutes after winning the bull riding championship at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“It was just kind of a freak deal,” said Proctor, who graduated from Lake Roosevelt High School, where his parents are teachers, in 2003. “That’s part of the sport.”
Before Proctor got hung up on Black Attack, three-time defending champion J.W. Harris was bucked off by Drop Time, which clinched the world title for Proctor at his first NFR.
“If I was going to break something that was a good time to do it; better in the 10th round than the first round,” Proctor said. “It was a disappointment to end the Finals that way. I was still really excited. I accomplished what I set out to do.”
Black Attack was bucking strong before a slight slip threw Proctor off balance and the bull’s head hit him under the chin, giving Proctor a concussion.
“I was fine; it was like a regular hang up,” Proctor said of hanging off the side of a bull with his hand still caught in the roper. Then his feet got tangled with the bull’s.
Black Attack stepped on Proctor’s back before the hoof slid to his left arm, breaking the bone “clear through.”
Proctor will know more after his early morning appointment with a doctor in Charlotte, N.C., but he is expecting to have surgery right away.
“There was no nerve damage,” he said. “I should be back in 8-12 weeks.”
That puts the pressure on his driver and wife, Jessi, when they move into their new home in Mooresville, N.C., next week, but that will be a lot less intense than the 10 days in Las Vegas.
“I had lots of fun,” Proctor said. “It was nerve-racking, especially on my wife. She’d rather have me chasing somebody than going in leading. … If you’re first you’re always looking behind.
“It was an emotional trip the entire season and a weight’s been lifted now that it’s over.”
Proctor is the third area cowboy, second from Washington, to win a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association championship.
Deb Copenhaver, who lives in Creston, was listing his residence as Post Falls when he won a pair of saddle bronc titles in the 1950s. His son, Jeff, was living in Spokane when he won the calf roping title in 1975.
Proctor’s 2012 season will start a little late, so he’ll probably miss the National Western Stock Show in Denver, where he dominated last January to kick start his season by winning more than $17,000.
“I’m going to go at it like I have … go hit what I can hit,” he said. “Hopefully, it all works out. It’s definitely something I’d really like to go and do again.”
All but that free ride part, that is.