GRAND PRAIRIE, Alberta – Tyrel Larsen was nervous and excited as he drove toward western Alberta.
The Inglis, Manitoba, saddle bronc rider was traveling to Grand Prairie, where a date with Vold Rodeo’s Eclypce awaited May 27.
“I’ve been going to that rodeo for a few years now, and to know that I’d drawn that horse had me nervous when I was driving up there,” said Larsen, 25. “He’s a big, intimidating sucker, but he was worth the trip. I had seen him a lot the past three years, and was excited to get on him.”
Larsen’s maiden voyage on Eclypce was worth the wait. He scored 86.5 points – which stood up over the five-day rodeo, May 27-31 – to win the Grand Prairie Stompede, edging Cort Scheer by a half point.
Larsen said the horse’s size and unpredictability made him a bit anxious.
“He’s one of the biggest horses up here, and is a little unorthodox, and you never know what he’s going to do,” Larsen said. “I saw Taos Muncy win Wainwright (Alberta) on him (in 2013, with an 87-point ride). “For me, he blew up in one spot and was outstanding, and then he stayed good for the whole ride. Hopefully I’ll draw him again this summer.”
The win aboard Eclypce was Larsen’s first trip to the winner’s circle in the 2015 season. With the win, he moved to 21st in the June 1 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.
While he’s hoping to do enough to make it to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December, Larsen is thrilled to simply be able to compete in rodeo after tearing the PCL ligament in his knee and missing most of the 2014 season. Pair that with finishing 16th in the 2013 standings and just missing the WNFR, and you get a motivated cowboy.
“Two years ago I had a really good season, but didn’t make the cut by one spot,” he said. “Last year, I blew my knee out and had to sit out. It wasn’t fun sitting around waiting and watching and not knowing when my knee was going to be good enough to ride again. It was really frustrating. But this year I came back with a clear mind, and I want to win more than ever. I’m just happy to be rodeoing again.”
Larsen says winning his first Grand Prairie Stompede title is special, and that he wants to collect a lot more wins at Canadian rodeos.
“It’s always fun to go down to the U.S. and represent Canada, but winning a big rodeo up here means that much more to me,” he said.
Other winners at the $113,459 rodeo were bareback rider Ty Taypotat (89 points on Vold Rodeo’s Mucho Dinero), steer wrestler Josh Harden (4.4 seconds), team ropers Dustin Bird and Chase Tryan (4.0 seconds), tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa (7.3 seconds), barrel racer Deb Guelly (15.296 seconds) and bull riders Kyle Lozier (86.5 points on Vold Rodeo’s Cooper’s Comet), and Jesse Torkelson (86.5 points on Vold Rodeo’s Stellar Revival).
- JoJo LeMond had quite the weekend with his steer roping/all-around parlay in Fort Smith and an equally profitable stopover at the Hugo (Okla.) PRCA Rodeo. He paired with Dakota Kirchenschlager in Hugo to win the team roping with a time of 3.6 seconds, which is the fastest of the 2015 season and equal to the 13th fastest all-time. He also tied for second in the steer roping in Hugo to win the all-around title. Between Fort Smith and Hugo, LeMond won $8,694. Nobody should be surprised by LeMond putting up the season’s fastest time; he is tied for third on the all-time list with a 3.4-second run at the 2009 Wrangler NFR, and tied for sixth all-time with a 3.5 at the 2009 Buc Days Rodeo in Corpus Christi, Texas – both with 2007 World Champion Randon Adams.
- Brazile Watch: Twenty-one time World Champion Trevor Brazile won checks in all three roping events over the weekend for total earnings of $8,267 to lift his lead over Tuf Cooper in the all-around world standings to $31,648. Brazile won the steer roping title in Hugo, while finishing fifth in the team roping with Patrick Smith. Brazile and Smith won a round at the Old Fort Days in Fort Smith, Ark., then earned a fifth-place check at the Spanish Fork (Utah) Wrangler Champions Challenge to go with Brazile’s fourth-place check in tie-down roping.
- Oklahoma tie-down roper Hunter Herrin moved to third in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with his win at the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Spanish Fork, Utah, and a tie for second place in Fort Smith, Ark. His total earnings of $9,005 allowed him to move up three spots from sixth last week.
- Cody DeMoss upped his lead in the saddle bronc riding world standings by parlaying his win in Fort Smith, Ark., with a tie for second place at the Licking (Mo.) PRCA Rodeo and a fifth-place check at the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Spanish Fork, Utah. Younger brother Heith DeMoss jumped seven spots from 16th to ninth by winning the WCC, the Maah Daah Hey Stampede in Grassy Butte, N.D., and the North Central Championship Rodeo in Medford, Wis. He also earned a fifth-place check at the Cherokee (Iowa) Chamber PRCA Rodeo, giving him total weekend earnings of $9,137.
- Tryan times: The team roping Tryan clan from Montana seemed to be everywhere, all at once, this weekend. World Champion Header Clay Tryan teamed with Jade Corkill to capture the Wrangler Champions Challenge in Spanish Fork, Utah – their record fourth WCC win this year – while brother Brady Tryan paired with B.J. Campbell to win the Central Point (Ore.) Wild Rogue Pro Rodeo and cousin Chase Tryan (the only heeler in the bunch) won the Grand Prairie (Alberta) Stompede with Dustin Bird and tied for second place at the Leduc (Alberta) Black Gold Rodeo.
- Canadian consistency: The 2013 World Champion Tie-down Roper, Shane Hanchey, has apparently found the key to picking up some momentum. All he has to do is leave the country. Hanchey won the Hand Hills Lake Stampede in Craigmyle, Alberta, and the Leduc (Alberta) Black Gold Rodeo over the weekend – each in a time of 7.7 seconds – to earn $3,831 and move from outside the top 50 to 34th in the world.
Courtesy of PRCA