Thursday was a good day for cowboys who attended Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
During the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Scottsdale, Ariz., Panhandle State graduate Tyrel Larsen won the saddle bronc riding title and $4,080. He posted an 85.5-point ride on Salt River Rodeo’s Smoke ring to finish half a point ahead of the runner-up, Taos Muncy, who won the college bronc riding title in 2007, the same year he won the first of his two gold buckles.
Another Panhandle State cowboy, Cort Scheer, finished third in bronc riding. But the Champions Challenge is a showcase of ProRodeo’s elite. In fact, Larsen was the only winner who has not yet qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo; he finished 16th in the world standings last year.
Other winners were bareback rider Winn Ratliff, steer wrestler Trevor Knowles, team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Patrick Smith, tie-down roper Ryan Watkins, barrel racer Lisa Lockhart and bull rider Cody Campbell.
Now most of the field is making its way back to Texas for the short round in San Angelo, The American or both. Here’s wishing all of them the best of luck.