When Shane Proctor drove up to the 66th Annual Rodeo Killeen Thursday night, he was bewildered and a bit surprised. He wasn’t expecting Killeen to be so built up. He anticipated a small, dry Texas town.
“My dad was stationed at Ft. Hood 40 years ago or so and he told me that it was in the middle of nowhere,” said Proctor. “But when I got here I saw how much it has grown and I thought, ‘This is nothing like my dad said.’”
Proctor drove to Texas from North Carolina to compete in a few other Texas events when he was told about Rodeo Killeen. He spoke about the uniqueness the grounds offer, most notably its location in the Killeen city limits, and was impressed with the turn-out as opening night was sold out.
“It’s really cool the way (Rodeo Killeen) is right in the city,” he said. “It’s definitely not what I was expecting when I decided to come.”
This was Proctor’s first time competing at Rodeo Killeen and the 2011 PBRC World Bull Riding Champion entered into two events – saddle bronc and bull riding. Like any true professional he doesn’t remember how many events he’s won because he’s more concentrated on the task at hand – not getting hurt when riding two different bucking animals.
“I figure if you’re gonna show up you might as well make it worth it,” Proctor said. “I started when I was 18 years old so I’ve gotten used to the falls.”
Proctor got bucked by Night Linger in saddle bronc and didn’t place and the bull riding scores were unavailable at press time.
The first-day leader is Lufkin’s Ty Kirkland with a score of 80. Oddly enough Kirkland, the No. 1 rated rookie on the PRCA, rode the same horse Pathfinder at the Belton Rodeo and placed fourth.
“He’s a good horse and won me some money the last time I rode him,” Kirkland said. “Maybe he can do it again.”
Athens’ native Steven Anding holds the first-day lead in bareback riding with a score of 84. Despite the lead, Anding couldn’t help but critique his ride, wishing he could have finished the ride a little stronger. He knows there’s two more days so he isn’t overly concerned with whether his score holds up. Anding has placed several times at Rodeo Killeen but hasn’t won.
“I know I could have done better. I have to pick myself apart if I want to get better,” Anding said. “But really what can you complain about when you’re winning?”
Wimberly’s Jarret New holds the lead in steer wrestling with a time 5.1 seconds and Dublin’s Ryan Watkins’ leads tie-down roping with 8.7 seconds.
Colby Lovell of Madison is ranked 20th in the world and Stephenville’s Martin Lucero finished in 4.6 seconds to hold the lead in team roping.
Shambrae Williams of Dublin finished barrell racing in 17.68 to hold the lead after the first day.