Jan 8, 2021
Goodwell, Okla. — For ten days, cowboy boots and hats adorn the streets of Las Vegas as the best in the rodeo industry compete for coveted world championship titles. The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) spans December 6-15 inside the Thomas and Mack Center. Five former Oklahoma Panhandle State University cowboys have earned their spot behind the legendary yellow bucking chutes.
Orin Larsen has become a regular in the bareback riding at the WNFR. This year, Larsen is arriving in the fourth-place position with $130,655 accumulated throughout the regular season. Although he is $57,000 behind the leader, Tim O’Connell, anything is possible with the large purse in Vegas.
True to Panhandle’s legacy, the saddle bronc riding is clustered with former Aggies. Clay Elliott, Cort Scheer and Taos Muncy all had collegiate success before becoming multi-time WNFR qualifiers. Elliott, a three-time qualifier, broke the $100,000-mark this season as he is in the lucky #7 spot. He is joined in the top ten by Scheer. This will mark the Nebraska cowboy’s sixth trip to the big dance. Rounding out the line-up in the saddle bronc riding is two-time world champion, Muncy, who is making his tenth appearance to the WNFR.
The fifth cowboy to wear the WNFR back number with Panhandle roots is Joe Frost in the bull riding. He is coming into Vegas in 13th place in the world standings. Known for his ability to cover a large percentage of bulls, Frost will likely continue to move up in the standings throughout the ten days of rodeo action.
In an event that stands alone, Rocky Patterson once again qualified for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping held in Mulvane, Kans. November 2-3. Patterson won the fifth round and placed third in the average with a total time of 133.9 seconds on nine head.
To support all the Panhandle State alumni at the WNFR, tune into CBS Sports Network nightly starting at 9 p.m. CST or watch the official streaming broadcast of the rodeo at prorodeotv.com with an annual subscription of $79.99.
Derek Barton, The Voice of the Aggies, is an award winning PRCA Announcer/ Broadcaster/ interviewer and owner/ host of the radio and internet show Talk Rodeo. Barton has worked the media room at the NFR for 10 plus years, interviewing go-round winners and World Champions. This year Barton will also be hosting “OPSU at the NFR” with video interviews with all Panhandle State Alumni competing at this year’s NFR.
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