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Top bulls heading to Tonasket for Proctor PBR

— I love when a handshake produces something like the Professional Bull Riders bringing the inaugural Shane Proctor Invitational to Tonasket on May 30-31.

Paul Vickers approached Proctor, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s world bull riding champion in 2011, during last year’s Omak Stampede rodeo in Omak.

From that came the rodeo that will be the first PBR event in Tonasket.

“It ought to be one whale of an event,” Vickers said. “I know it’s costing us enough to put it on. We need all the support we can get from the community.”

Tonasket has had bulls in the past, but this event will bring many of the top riders to town seeking a big purse.

The Tonasket Comancheros are putting up $10,000 to the purse.

“We will have 35 bull riders a night,” Vickers said, said about 18 head of horses will be bucked, too.

The Top 10 bull riders then advance to a short go-round each show.

“The Northwest is rich in rodeo history, not only with the Omak Stampede and everything else,” said Lake Roosevelt High School graduate Proctor, 29, from his Mooresville, N.C., home. “Stand-alone bull riding is an exceptional thing. There are a lot of exceptional bulls raised in the Northwest.

“That’s why PBR was created. The big draw for a lot of the crowd is bull riding.”

Also, the overall winner will receive a free pass to the Built Ford Tough Series final.

“What separates the PBR from everything else is the money involved,” Proctor said. “These are top elite athletes and they want to go up against the top elite bulls. Tonasket has put up the money to do it.”

After talking with Proctor, Vickers and his wife, Teena, attended a PBR event.

“It looked like a good event to do,” he said.

PBR is taking entries, with Dakota Beck, Cody Riley and newcomer Ben Jones of Australia already signed, Vickers said.

“I think we will have lot of guys that ride the Built Ford Tough series here,” Vickers said.

PBR bulls are coming from as far away as North Dakota and South Dakota, including Guns and Donuts and Buck Wild from Silver Creek and Pandemic from C’N Stars Bull Co.

Pucker Up and Jumanji are coming from 5 Star Bucking Bulls out of North Dakota.

The Katich family will bring El Smacko and Dr. Love, which has bucked off 89 percent of its riders.

Mike Corey is bringing Major Impact, Big Cool, Mr. Buddy, Rapid Revolver and Crazy Bull.

Proctor anticipates being here, but he won’t be competing. He underwent surgery earlier this year to repair his free, left arm, which was stomped on the last ride in the 2011 world championship. He’s projected back July 1.

“They said 24 weeks for recovery,” Proctor said. “I am hoping they release me a couple weeks early.”

Proctor’s bull school in Nespelem earlier this month drew 31 young riders that bucked close to 250 head.

Al Camp is the sports editor for The Chronicle. Email him at sports@omakchronicle.com.

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