Larsen scores big on rank horse

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Orin Larsen rides Hi Lo ProRodeo's Pretty Woman for 87 points to finish third in Thursday's eighth round at the National Finals Rodeo. (PRCA PRORODEO PHOTO BY JAMES PHIFER)

LAS VEGAS – Jim Boy Hash is a college rodeo coach in western Kansas and is an Oklahoma Panhandle State University graduate. He also raises bucking horses.

Orin Larsen is from Inglis, Manitoba, who graduated from the College of Southern Idaho and Panhandle State. He also rides bucking horses.

On Thursday night, Hash-raised, Hi Lo ProRodeo-owned Pretty Woman and Larsen matched moves inside the Thomas & Mack Center for 87 points to finish third in the eighth round of the National Finals Rodeo. It earned Larsen an additional $15,654.

Orin Larsen
Orin Larsen

“Caleb Bennett had that horse earlier in the week and didn’t get along with it,” said Larsen, who now lives in Gering, Neb. “It’s just your typical eliminator horse. She dang sure gave me the test. I’m happy to come out on top.

“I thought that would be kind of cool to win the round again, from a Panhandle State kid to a Panhandle State horse. We got third, and I’m not turning up my nose at that.”

The third and eighth rounds feature the hardest-to-ride horses in bareback riding called the “eliminator” pen. Larsen has excelled on those horses; he was 87 points both nights, riding the Calgary Stampede’s Trail Dust last Saturday. He made Thursday’s ride look easier than it was.

“It didn’t feel that great,” he said. “There were a lot of things going on. I know I was swinging and hitting something; I just didn’t now what I was hitting. That’s how the eliminator pen is supposed to be. It’s the kind of pen where the boys become men.”

In his eight nights in the Nevada desert, Larsen has earned $76,846. He has pushed his season salary to $207,501 and moved up one spot to third place in the world standings. He trails the No. 2 man, Tim O’Connell, by less than $20,000 and the leader, Caleb Bennett, by less than $33,000.

“I’m pretty fortunate to come here and make the money,” Larsen said. “I’m able to do that and enjoy it.”


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