Most of you know about Coleman Proctor’s versatility as a heading and heeling handyman. But in case you weren’t aware, he’s taken up another event. And on the heels of the $19,590 all-around championship at the 2022 Daddy of ’em All in Cheyenne, the six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo header is currently ranked sixth in both the world all-around and heading races.
“This is every cowboy’s dream,” said Proctor, 36, who won most of his money at The Daddy in the steer roping. “To be in the company of the Stetson Wrights, Trevor Braziles and Larry Mahans—I’m really excited about this.”
Proctor placed third in the opening round of his second event, then won the second round. He was high man back, and though the championship was sudden death, he had fourth sewn up by way of the steer roping payoff format, because there were only three qualified times in front of him. Coleman’s last steer jumped up for a no-time in the finals, but it paid him $6,871 just the same based on his previous performance—and it all counted in the world standings.
“I felt like those pilots in Top Gun 2 being high man back,” he said. “I was just trying not to pass out.”
Proctor and Logan Medlin split seventh in Round 1 in the team roping for $1,267 a man. So yes, $18,323 of his $19,590 Cheyenne total was steer roping money. Coleman’s currently ranked sixth in the world heading standings with $73,595, and 21st in the steer roping with $19,538. His $93,133 total to date in the 2022 regular rodeo seasons sits him sixth in the world all-around race.
As an interesting side note, money won at stand-alone sanctioned steer ropings does not count toward the world all-around race, similar to stand-alones in other events, because not every Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association member can compete there. And just for fun and in case you’re curious, Coleman’s won two other checks in the steer roping this year—$607 for sixth in Round 3 in Guymon, Oklahoma, and $608 for fourth in Round 2 in Coleman, Texas.
“I missed our steer in the quarter finals,” Coleman said of his second team roping steer with Medlin. “We had a strong steer, and he was really running. I missed him and crippled my good yellow horse (Admiral) all in the same run. So it’s kind of been an up-and-down couple weeks here at Cheyenne.”
Friends hauled Admiral back to Dr. Charlie Buchanan at Signature Equine Hospital in Stephenville, Texas, so he’s been resting up in good hands. Proctor had planned to turn him out for a break anyway, and the extent of this injury is still under analysis.
Coleman caught the steer roping bug while helping Jess Tierney at the Cinch Timed Event Championship.
“I built my arena 200 (feet) wide, because I knew that one day I’d be tripping steers,” Proctor said. “Jess let me make one run on his backup horse Elvis, and I fell in love with it. I’d been playing around with it on my heel horse, and Jess said, ‘If you’re really going to do this, you need to buy a good horse.’ It’s a hard thing, because they’re so expensive, and it’s hard for a header to justify it. I told Jess, ‘OK, find me the horse.’ He called me the next day, and said, ‘Hey, I know the horse you need.’”
Tierney was talking about CA Lauer’s horse Cheetoh. So Coleman picked up the phone and called Lauer.
“I told CA I was wanting to get started, and I think that’s why he sold him to me, because a lot of people had tried to buy that horse,” Proctor said. “I wanted something I could learn on, and it’s been the cheapest investment I’ve ever made in my life.
“I’ve been in the practice pen almost upside down once. I lost my left stirrup one time, and looked like (rodeo clown Justin) Rumford doing the Spiderman act. I was hung on the side of my horse, and couldn’t go anywhere. That horse has been amazing for me, and has helped me learn how to win. He’s obviously good enough. He’s already won Cheyenne once in the senior steer roping. He’s had way more experience than I have.”
Coleman bought Cheetoh the week after the 2022 Timed Event in March, and entered his first PRCA steer roping—the stand-alone in Ada, Oklahoma—the day after the BFI in April. Proctor’s been climbing the learning curve with a little help from his cowboy friends.
“Jess has helped me from day one, and I send him videos,” Coleman said. “A dear friend of mine, John Wayne McDaniel, helps us at the ranch. He won rookie of the year in the tripping back in ’01, and he’s helped me all along. My buddy Griffin Passmore holds the steers down while I’m learning to tie. One of the first things I did was call (2021 World Champion) Cole Patterson. He lives not that far from me. I said, ‘Hey, what would it take to get you to come to my house and help me?’ He came the second week of April, and taught me little things like where to put your feet when you tie.
“When I went to my first steer roping at Ada, I had a terrible day. I ended up in front of my horse on the first steer, and roped the next two around the neck. It was awful. Scott Snedecor called me when he left there and said, ‘Hey, when you come to San Angelo, come to the house.’ I ran my first one at San Angelo, then got up at 3 in the morning and drove to Snedecor’s house, roped all day, then ran my second one at San Angelo. Those guys have been so great to reach out and help me.”
That’s steer ropers for you. They are, generally speaking, more apt to have families and business interests at home, because they don’t live on the road like cowboys in the other events.
“The steer ropers are like the bulldoggers of the roping world,” Coleman said. “They’re all so cool, and they’re such a tight-knit group. The steer ropers are a neat brotherhood of people, and it’s such a craft and great event. I really want to get good at it. I tie ’til my hands bleed, and I’ve really put a lot of work into it.
“I was totally geared up to run my first one at Cheyenne past the camera pit. I’m always nervous as all get out anyway when I steer rope. It’s the most adrenaline-rushing event I’ve ever done. I got my first one down and I ended up placing. I won third in that first round, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Then I came back with a really good steer, and got fortunate and won the second round. It was like, ‘Wow.’ I told my wife (Stephanie), ‘If I draw another good steer and win this thing, I may never enter the steer roping here again. Because I don’t know how it could ever go better.”
Coleman’s girls—Steph, Stella and Caymbree—surprised him by flying in for finals Sunday. On Monday, they were back in their hometown of Pryor, Oklahoma, celebrating Caymbree’s third birthday before heading to Dodge City for Tuesday’s steer roping. Ora Taton was crowned the 2022 Cheyenne steer roping champ 19 years after his first title there.
“Let’s be honest—you always dream of winning Cheyenne,” Coleman said. “When I first came here in 2005, I was heeling for Bret Boatright, and we made the short round. I never made the short round again until 2019 (heading for Ryan Motes). This is a rodeo you always want to check off your list, and I’ve only made the short round heading one time. And now one time in the steer roping.
“Cheyenne—The Daddy—is a bucket-list rodeo. I’ve dreamed of winning the team roping here. To win the all-around here is like nothing else. Hopefully, someday I’ll just be here heeling and roping steers. I love the steer roping. It’s an amazing event.”