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Orin Larsen notches seventh WCC title

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Orin Larsen is getting married in two weeks.

Needless to say, Friday night’s winnings have already been put to good use, and that’s fine with Larsen.

Despite knowing nothing about the horse he was about to get on, Larsen scored 88 points on Sutton Rodeos’ South Point to win the bareback riding at the Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots Finale at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in South Dakota. It was the first ever live-streamed event on

“I knew he was a good draw, despite being a little nutty in the chute,” said Larsen, who found out his draw when he got to the arena. “But I knew if I did my job it was going to work out really good.

“You just try not to overthink it, you stick to the basics and nine times out of 10 it’s going to work for you.”

As of Sept. 25, Larsen, who won $3,944 Friday, was ranked 11th in the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings and headed to his third consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER in Las Vegas in December.

“Every dollar counts at this point,” Larsen said. “I know a lot of guys that are in worse position than I am, and they’re trying to win every dollar they can to go to Vegas. I was really fortunate to get what I did out of here.”

But before he heads to Vegas, he and his fiancée, Alexa Minch, are set to get married in mid-October. Then they’ll head to the East Coast for their honeymoon. It’ll be some much-deserved downtime for Larsen before he takes a shot at winning a world championship.

“It’s more money in the bank. I’m getting married in two weeks, so that money’s gone,” Larsen joked. 

Larsen, of Inglis, Manitoba, finished third in the world standings last year. Being part of a team was something Larsen enjoys.

“I think it’s really cool for the fans and the team,” he said. “Even though we’re in different events we can all work together and help each other. I think it’s a neat concept.”

The win marked his record seventh victory in a Wrangler Champions Challenge event and his fourth WCC win this season. Even he’s not sure why he does so well at the WCC.

“I don’t know, I’ve been trying to figure that out,” said Larsen, 26. “It’s a great thing for me and the fans and sponsors. I really love coming to these.”

The win gives him some added confidence for the WNFR and adds a little pre-wedding fun.

“Any time you can get on a great bucking horse and win some money at it,” Larsen said, “and you can bring your fiancée with you, it’s a win all the way around.”

Team Kissimmee won the Friday night WCC with $16,646. 

Other winners at the $92,800 rodeo were steer wrestler Tyler Pearson of Team Sioux Falls (3.5 seconds), team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira of Team Experience Kissimmee (4.2 seconds), saddle bronc rider CoBurn Bradshaw of Team Wrangler (85 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Little Sicillia), tie-down roper Trevor Brazile of Team RAM (7.7 seconds), barrel racer Stevi Hillman of Team Resistol (13.46 seconds), and bull rider Trey Benton III of Team Las Vegas Events (91 points on Dakota Rodeo’s Tequila Sunrise).

For more coverage on the Wrangler Champions Challenge presented by Justin Boots check out the Oct. 13 issue of ProRodeo Sports News.

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