Bareback rider Orin Larsen always wanted to win the Dodge City (Kansas) Roundup.
He accomplished that feat in record-setting fashion Sunday night.
Larsen set the rodeo-record in the two-head average with 179.5 points. The record was 175 points on two head shared by Steven Dent and Will Lowe in 2019.
Larsen’s 92.5-point ride on Pickett Rodeo’s Uncapped in the finals also was a rodeo record. The record was 91 points by Jason Jeter in 2004.
“Dodge City has always been known for having great stock, especially in the short round,” Larsen said. “It’s tough, and it’s anyone’s game. It is the stronger pen of horses and to win this short round and this rodeo has been a huge honor and something I’ve always wanted to knock off my bucket list.”
“I got on that horse (Uncapped) a couple years ago at the NFR and didn’t have the same trip as tonight,” Larsen said. “As soon as you think you’re going have some fun on that horse he dang sure lets you know it and he gets a little bit stronger.”
Before Dodge City, Larsen was seventh in the PRCA | RAM World Standings and will move up after leaving Dodge City with $7,574.
“He (Uncapped) got really high in the air and really exotic,” Larsen said. “The horse has been known for a while and he’s a handful, but one you can have fun on. Cullen Pickett has a very special horse in his string.”
Pickett was excited about Larsen’s draw. Uncapped is a gelding by Hells Bells and out of a Night Jacket mare.
“I thought that was a matchup to watch for,” Pickett said. “Orin handles the buckers as good as anyone. The horse has something to him, but so does Orin.”
The Gering, Nebraska, cowboy is no stranger to accomplishing 90-plus rides aboard some difficult bucking horses.
“When a strong horse hits you, you’ve got to hit him twice as hard, you’ve got to nod your head like a cowboy and ride like a wolf,” Larsen said.
This coming week, Larsen will continue his quest for his sixth Wrangler NFR qualification competing at the Sikeston (Mo.) Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo and Cache County Fair & Rodeo in Logan, Utah.
“I’m going home for a few days,” Larsen said. “That horse drilled me in the ground tonight and sore’d me up a bit. I’m on the road and I’m not pulling over until I hit my driveway.”
Although Larsen did not have any family watching him in Dodge City, he still received congratulatory text messages due to the coverage by The Cowboy Channel.
“My wife, my parents, friends and family were able to watch me on the Cowboy Channel,” Larsen said. “It’s been pretty awesome to have their coverage and what they are doing for the sport of rodeo.”
Other winners at the $401,285 – the payout was rodeo record surpassing the $333,008 mark in 2018 – were steer wrestler Dalton Massey (12.0 seconds on three head); team ropers Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley and Nick Sartain/Blaine Vick (18.1 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright (175.5 points on two head); tie-down roper Ty Harris (26.6 seconds on three head); barrel racer BryAnna Haluptzok (50.89 seconds on three runs); steer roper Cole Patterson (38.5 seconds on three head); and bull rider Roscoe Jarboe (176 points on two head). Blake Deckard was the all-around cowboy ($3,955, tie-down roping and steer roping).
For more coverage of the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo check out the Aug. 7 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.