Bull rider Shane Proctor moved into contention for his second world championship while steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge took another step toward history during a thrilling second night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
A crowd of 17,788 at the Thomas & Mack Center watched Eldridge win the bulldogging event and move into fourth place in the world standings, a jump of 11 spots. He’s trying to follow in the footsteps of team roping heeler Allen Bach (1990) and bull rider Cody Hancock (2000), who are the only cowboys to win a world championship after entering the WNFR in 15th place.
“Hopefully, I can make it three to do that,” Eldridge said. “I’ve got nothing to lose. I came in 15th and I’m just 22 (years old), so I’m just going for it. I’ve got a chance now and I’m pretty confident.”
Proctor, the 2011 world champion, jumped from 10th place to third in the world bull riding standings by winning Rounds 1 and 2 (good for $18,630 each night). He trails world leader J.W. Harris by a little more than $25,077; the winner of the WNFR average in each event will earn $47,776.
“I feel like I did during the regular season of 2011,” Proctor said, “not at the NFR that year, because I didn’t have a great NFR. This is my third year at the NFR and these last two nights have been my two best rides here ever.
“I do feel like I’m riding at that same high level as when I won the world.”
Still, the 28-year-old knows a lot of action is ahead before gold buckles are handed out. Continue Reading