LAS VEGAS – It was a wild night of bareback riding Monday for the fifth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
At most rodeos and, oftentimes at the NFR, an 87.5-point ride will win the round. Orin Larsen will just enjoy settling for a tie for fifth place worth $5,500.
“That is probably the best round of bareback riding that I’ve ever seen,” said Larsen, an Inglis, Manitoba, cowboy who rode Hi Lo Pro Rodeo’s Wilson Sanchez into the top six. “Everyone’s riding good, and the horses are doing great. That’s what the finals are all about. It is exciting to see what is going to happen the next five nights.”
Only one point separated the top six finishers, those that earn money each night. Utahan Mason Clements was 88.5 to win the round, three cowboys tied for second at 88, and Larsen shared the last paying spot with Wyoming cowboy J.R. Vezain.
Through the first five nights, the Manitoban has placed four times and has earned more than $56,000. That’s a pretty solid start to ProRodeo’s grand finale. He has moved up five spots to No. 5 in the world standings with $155,355.
He’s not far from topping his 2016 NFR earnings, and it’s only the halfway point of this year’s championship.
“It’s different, and I’m not used to it,” said Larsen, who lives in Gering, Neb. “I’m loving it. I’m going to ride this gravy train as long as I can. I’ve just been really grateful and thankful for the horses I’ve been getting on and the way I’ve been riding.
“I’m just going to keep rolling with it.”