LAS VEGAS – Orin Larsen virtually blanked in the opening half of the National Finals Rodeo, earning only the $10,000 bonus for qualifying that every contestant gets.
He’s made up for it in the two nights since the second half has started. He’s collected $31,351, most of which came with his win in Round 6. He rode Big Stone Rodeo’s Fired Up for 85.5 points to finish sixth in Wednesday’s seventh round, collecting $4,354.
He still has three nights to add to it, and that’s a good thing. The first time he experienced this phenomenon in 2016, he had suffered a rib injury that hampered his spur stroke; it took the first five nights to figure out how to ride through the pain.
“I think about that every year,” said Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba. “I think about getting an earlier start from Oct. 1 to Day 1 of the finals. It will happen one day. It will happen one year: next year.”
The cowboy from Inglis, Manitoba – now living in Gering, Nebraska, with his wife Alexa – battled through it and earned more than $71,000 in five nights. He’s on pace to do that again this year.
There are so many things that can happen in this 10-day rodeo, the highest-paying event of the season in the PRCA. The purse is more than $10 million, and go-round winners earn just shy of $27,000 per night. That’s what Larsen claimed in the sixth round.
The reality for the Canadian is that he has a chance to collect $80,991. That’s all he needs.