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Larsen, Yates Claim Titles at Cheyenne Frontier Days

Submitted by Panhandle State Rodeo on 08/12/2016 Panhandle State alumni J.D. Yates and Orin Larsen are pictured here with the other event winners at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. —Courtesy photo Panhandle State alumni J.D. Yates and Orin Larsen are pictured here with the other event winners at the Cheyenne Frontier Days. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — At a rodeo so prestigious that it is deemed the “Daddy of ‘em All”, two Oklahoma Panhandle State University alumni had dreams come true in Cheyenne, Wyo. July 22-31. Orin Larsen, former two-time National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Champion, claimed the title in the bareback riding while J.D. Yates of Pueblo, Colo. was named the top hand of the rodeo by winning the all-around championship.

Larsen started the three-round rodeo in high fashion by winning the opening round with an 87-point ride. He continued to collect prize money by placing fifth in the second go. On championship Sunday, Larsen put an exclamation point on his week with an 86.5-point ride for a total of 255.5 points and the prestigious win.

At the professional level, winning in one event against the best of the best is hard enough, but Yates was able to capitalize in both the team roping and steer roping in Cheyenne. Keeping rodeo a family business, Yates paired with his son, Trey, in the team roping. The duo split first in the second round, placed fifth in the short go and were third in the aggregate standings with a total time of 30.3 seconds on three head.

Consistency was the name of Yates’ game all week. The former Panhandle State Aggie was fourth in the opening round, third in the short go and third in the average of the steer roping. His combined earnings of $24, 351 secured the all-around title for him.

Also representing the red and blue in the team roping was Cole Dorenkamp. Dorenkamp paired with Josh Fillmore to qualify for the championship round. The pair placed third in the short go and finished sixth overall.

Staying at the roping boxes, Trell Etbauer handled the strong calves with ease in the tie-down roping. The Goodwell-native was third in the short round and finished fourth overall. Right behind Etbauer was Panhandle State alum, Brice Ingo, who placed fifth in the aggregate.

Nat Stratton qualified for the final round in the saddle bronc riding, but failed to mark his horse out Sunday afternoon. In the bull riding, Jeff Bertus also punched his ticket for the championship performance.

At the mid-way point of the heated summer run of rodeos, Larsen is currently second in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) World Standings as he creeps to the $100,000 mark for the season.

The saddle bronc riding standings are clustered with former Aggies. Allen Boore is currently fifth, Taos Muncy is eighth, Jake Watson is holding down the ninth place position while Clay Elliott rounds out the top ten. Coming back from an injury, Tyrel Larsen is amongst the top 20 and is looking to qualify for his second National Finals Rodeo in December.

Joe Frost is third in the bull riding with $76,269 won this season.

The winning tradition of Panhandle State Rodeo continues on the professional level while new athletes make their way to Goodwell. The Aggies will compete at four rodeos during the fall semester including Colby Community College Sept. 16-18, Southeastern Oklahoma State University Oct. 6-8, Oklahoma State University Oct. 20-22 and Northwestern Oklahoma State University Oct. 27-29.