Larsen takes pride in rank rides

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Orin Larsen rides Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Mr. Harry to place in Thursday’s eighth go-round at the National Finals Rodeo.

LAS VEGAS – In his 12 years riding bareback horses in the PRCA, Orin Larsen is known for riding rank broncs.

He proved it Thursday with an 84.5-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Mr. Harry to finish fourth in the eighth go-round. That was worth $11,321 and proved that when the Canadian cowboy gains momentum, he just lets it roll. He placed for the third straight night and has collected $52,673, most of which has come in Rounds 6-8.

“I may not win the (‘Eliminator Pen’) every year, but I seem to place and do fairly well,” said Larsen of Inglis, Manitoba, now living in Gering, Nebraska. “I just really love those really strong horses that are going to test you and make you earn it. When you are 90 points, it feels like a 90-point ride.

“Any time you can place in the E-pen at the finals is a pretty great feeling.”

Larsen is fifth in the aggregate with an eight-ride cumulative score of 677.5 points. If he stays in that position when the NFR concludes Saturday, he will add a $23,513 bonus. If he moves up one spot to fourth, the bonus increases to nearly $33,000. He could use any money he can get. He sits 11th in the world standings with $150,516.

“I got on Mr. Harry in this round two years ago, and it felt the same way,” he said. “It is just a fight. From the time you nod your head, it is just a constant battle the whole time. Richie (Champion) got on him earlier this week and said the same thing, so I knew what to expect.

“I’m ready for fun. I love getting on E-penners and kind of showing up and showing out on them, but the locker room gets more lively when the “Hoppers” come back in.”

That’s what’s going to happen Friday. Bareback riders take a bit of a break after getting on the rankest horses. They’ll have horses in the ninth round that allows them to be a bit more flashy with their spur strokes. It makes it a bit more fun.

He doesn’t really have time to fret about his draw either. Between meeting sponsorship responsibilities and other things he takes care of during the day, he also takes the time to focus on his body.

“My chiropractor from back home, Advantage Chiropractic & Acupuncture, flew down to watch the last few rounds,” Larsen said. “He came down and worked on me before I went to the rodeo, and that has helped a lot.

“Knock on wood, I haven’t been really sore. This is the first year I haven’t been sore. I don’t know if I was just prepared more than ever before, but I never have had that stiff soreness feeling. We have bumps and bruises along the way, but that’s just part of it.”

It all helps him perform the best each night, and that is a big reason he’s rolling in the second half of this year’s championship.


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