LAS VEGAS - When Shane Proctor was slow to get up Monday night it brought back memories of a year ago when he broke his left arm after making the whistle on the final out of what was undoubtedly a career year for him.
Luckily the 27-year-old from Grand Coulee, Wash., who now resides in Mooresville, N.C., was a little dazed, but otherwise all right after being bucked off in the fifth round of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Proctor, who recently completed his seventh season on the Built Ford Tough Series, is one of the few riders who competes at both PBR and PRCA events and will be in the draw tonight for Round 6 at the Thomas & Mack Center.
"Things are going all right," Proctor said prior to Monday's round.
He explained that while he hasn't been riding great ― he's covered one of his first five bulls ― he's happy to be healthy and with five rounds remaining there's plenty of opportunities. He's projected to finish in the Top 10 of the PRCA standings despite missing the start of the 2012 season.
"There are a lot of opportunities to make some good rides," said Proctor, who is known among fellow PBR riders for his positive outlook, "catch up and place in that average."
Looking ahead to 2013, Proctor will compete at both PBR and PRCA events for the third consecutive season.
"It's just about going and getting on as many bulls as I can and winning as much money as I can."
Not since the 20 PBR cofounders competed in both organizations has a rider consistently qualified for the World Finals and the NFR in the same season over multiple seasons. Proctor qualified for both in 2011 and, unfortunately, just missed out on the World Finals this year; he is hoping to qualify for both again in 2013.
"I'm going to keep pushing and doing the same thing I've been doing the last couple years, and that's trying to make both Finals," he said. "This year, I'm going to have to start off early and get to work on getting those points built up. It's just about going and getting on as many bulls as I can and winning as much money as I can."
However, with the new point system in place for calculating the world standings as well as the Top 35 qualifiers for the World Finals, Proctor said doing both will be tougher than it was for him in 2011 and 2012.
In 2011, Proctor finished a career-best ninth in the PBR world standings and, at the same time, won a world title in the PRCA.
The key to success, he said, is getting off to good
start in 2013 and accumulating points early in the season.
"If I can do that, it's definitely a possibility," Proctor said, when asked about qualifying for both Finals.
Because there is more money available to be won at the PBR ― he's earned just shy of $800,000 in the PBR, including in excess of $566,000 in the past four years ― his primary focus remains PBR events that include the Built Ford Tough Series and the Touring Pro Division.
"It's going to be a little bit different and nobody really knows how it's going to turn out," he said of the new PBR points system. "Are the top guys going to keep going to the (Touring Pro Division events) and trying to keep building on the lead? Or are they just going to keep trying to make all their points on the Built Ford Tough (Series)? It's just going to be real interesting to see."
Proctor, who will spend Christmas in North Carolina,
with his family and in-laws, said he's leaning toward starting the
2013 campaign in earnest at the TPD event in Spokane, Wash., the
first weekend in January.
"It's time to get back to business then," Proctor said.
Proctor plans to stay on the road as much as possible in an attempt to get himself in the Top 35 by the end of the fifth BFTS event, so that he can be among the first riders called up in time to compete in Anaheim, Calif., Feb. 8-10.
"I'm just livin' the dream," he said.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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