LAS VEGAS - Shane Proctor is a World
But the PRCA portion of his 2011 season didn't exactly end as expected. In the final round the National Finals Rodeo, he was hung up on his last bull, Black Attack, and wound up breaking his left (free) arm above the elbow.
After being tended to by Dr. Tandy Freeman, he was carried on a backboard from the arena to the sports medicine room inside the Thomas & Mack Center.
"I didn't have to walk out," said Proctor, whose injury did little to hurt his sense of humor. "They'll carry you out if you do it good enough.
"It's like another day in paradise."
Proctor, who finished ninth in the PBR world standings, covered five of 10 bulls at the NFR and won more than $238,000 over the course of the season to claim the PRCA title by $29,000.
'It was a lifelong feeling of accomplishment to get this first one out of the way.'
"It was a great feeling," he said. "The worst feeling was that I
wasn't getting to do all the cool stuff when you become World
Champion, like going and receiving your buckle in the arena. Tandy
got me put back together and I was able to go to the awards banquet
and get my saddle and my buckle.
"It was a lifelong feeling of accomplishment to get this first one out of the way."
Proctor is hoping to have surgery this week.
He and his wife Jessi are closing on a new home in Mooresville, N.C., on Wednesday, so the current plan is for Freeman to locate a surgeon in Charlotte, but if one is not available, Proctor will travel to Dallas the following day and Freeman will perform the procedure.
He is expected to be out of competition for eight to 12 weeks.
Proctor is the latest in a long list of PBR riders to win the PRCA title, including Ty Murray, Jim Sharp, Michael Gaffney, Mike White, and more recently Dustin Elliott.
Sunday morning, Proctor said 10 days is a long Finals.
"It can definitely wear on you if things aren't going your way," he said of the three bulls in a row he bucked off beginning in Round 3, "but in the end I knew it would all work out if I just worked hard enough and tried hard enough."
Part of focusing was avoiding social media.
He posted only once on Facebook while in Las Vegas, the morning after the opening round, and that was to tell fans he appreciated their support and well-wishes.
Sunday he said he couldn't have won the title without the support of his wife Jessi. His parents and in-laws were in Las Vegas for the second half of the NFR, and this afternoon, he, Jessi and his father-in-law Tim Mauney will begin the 36-hour drive back to Mooresville, N.C., in a van he bought in early July.
Proctor also commended L.J. Jenkins on winning the NFR event title, and for stepping in on his behalf to accept Proctor's gold buckle in the arena.
L.J. Jenkins covered six of 10 bulls at the NFR to win the average. Proctor and Jenkins finished first and third in the PRCA world standings.
"It was really cool that he was able to do that," Proctor said.
"They said he did a great job of representing me, so it was really
cool that that's what ended up happening. It would have been better
if I could have done it myself."
He said prior to Round 10, he and Jenkins, who finished eighth in the PBR world standings, were already planning their 2012 schedules.
Jenkins' week at the NFR moved him from 14th to third in the final PRCA standings, and according to Proctor, both intended to qualify for the PBR and PRCA Finals again in 2012. Proctor and Jenkins were two of the Top 3 ranked riders in the PRCA, while maintaining a fulltime schedule on the Built Ford Tough Series.
"I want to ride bulls," said Proctor, when asked of his future plans. "Hopefully this isn't the last World Championship I get. One thing I can say right now is that I'm a World Champion and I have a gold buckle on my belt, but I'd definitely like more and I'm definitely going to seek out more."
Proctor had his best season in the PBR in 2011.
He finished a career-best ninth in the Built Ford Tough Series standings despite being unable to compete in the final four regular-season events. He won the event in San Antonio to take the third BFTS title of his career. He was ranked seventh in riding percentage (45.33 percent), 10th in bulls ridden (34), tied for sixth with five round wins, had a career-best eleven Top 10 finishes, and tied a career high with four Top 5 finishes.
'Hopefully this isn't the last World Championship I get.'
During the summer break, he won both the Calgary Stampede and
the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.
"It feels like just yesterday," he said when recalling the start of his long and successful season. "Heck, I can remember the first (PBR rider) meeting that we had in Madison Square Garden this year like it was just yesterday.
"It seemed like the year went so fast, but it was because I was having so much fun doing what I was doing and doing what I wanted to do. Going and getting on that many bulls was exciting."
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