LAS VEGAS – Just like an old motorcycle, Bridwell Rodeo’s Ted needed a little help getting started.
The gelding likes to take a bit of a run before he starts bucking, so bareback rider Orin Larsen had to find a way to get the horse in motion as soon as possible.
“Caleb (Bennett) had some success on him earlier this year, and he said he was a fun little horse and that you need to kickstart him a little to get him to break,” said Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba. “After that, he said, ‘You’re going to get some points on him.’ ”
That’s exactly what happened Friday night during the ninth night of the National Finals Rodeo. Larsen and Ted matched moves across the Thomas & Mack Center dirt for 86.5 points. That helped Larsen to finish in a tie for fourth place.
It marked the fifth time at this year’s finale that he has earned a paycheck, adding $8,885 on Friday night. He has pocketed $85,731 in Las Vegas. Most important, he has one more night to add some Nevada cash.
“Rodeo and Las Vegas is a funny thing,” said Larsen, who lives in Gering, Neb., with his wife. “You don’t know what is going to happen until the last horse goes. I’m excited to see what the draw is for (Saturday). I’m pretty confident.”
He should be. The 10th round of the NFR features the most electric horses in bareback riding. They get high in the air and show off themselves, allowing the cowboys to show off, too. Thursday’s horses were called hoppers, meaning they are the easiest to ride, and they come a night after the “eliminator” pen of horses perform.
“You could definitely tell in the locker room, a night-and-day difference,” he said. “(Thursday) it was quiet, and everyone was in their zone. Today everyone lightened up. The dragons are over, so now we can have fun.”
It showed. He is third in the world standings with $216,386.
“I’m pretty fortunate to make this kind of money doing what I love to do,” Larsen said. “I’m pretty fortunate, pretty blessed to do what I do.”
He’s pretty good at it, too.