It’s pretty safe to say that barring injury, three area cowboys are headed back to the National Finals Rodeo.
However, rodeo fans that don’t want to wait until December to watch Ryan Gray, Tyson Durfey and Shane Proctor on television, can head to Coeur d’Alene this weekend.
All three are entered in the North Idaho Fair rodeo that runs today through Sunday.
Shane Proctor of Grand Coulee, the 2011 world champion bull rider who is currently sitting in seventh place, is set to ride in today’s first performance, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Proctor is well on his way to a third straight NFR with more than $69,000, about $30,000 behind leader and former champion J.W. Harris. Proctor, who is also doing a bit of saddle bronc riding, is fourth in the all-around chase with more than $80,000.
It’s Durfey, a tie-down roper from Colbert, who is up in Saturday’s show, which also starts 6:30. Durfey, who is in second place in the standings, had a five-year NFR string end last season. He has earned more than $85,000. Tuf Cooper, the leader with more than $102,000, is entered today.
Gray, a bareback rider from Cheney, is entered in Sunday’s noon performance. Gray, who made seven straight NFR appearances until missing last year, won at Moses Lake last weekend to vault into the lead by less than $600 with $89,645.
Being entered in a rodeo does not guarantee an appearance but with the season ending at the end of September it would take a major conflict or injury to keep them away.