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WNFR Nears Midway Point

Submitted by Kashly Schweer on 12/11/2017

Las Vegas — For ten days, professional cowboys and cowgirls rally to multiply their seasonal earnings during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) under the bright lights of Las Vegas. With more than $26,000 up for grabs each night, these December days could be very lucrative for athletes who cash paychecks only when they win. Amongst those hitting the pay window are six Oklahoma Panhandle State University alumni.

After four rounds of action, Orin Larsen has collected three paychecks in the bareback riding. His highest-marked ride came during the opening night as he scored 86.50 points to place second. Aside of the wild ride when the rank pen of broncs hit the chutes, Larsen has been consistently in the mid-80 range. He is currently seventh in the aggregate.

In the saddle bronc riding, the WNFR rookies are proving they learned from the best in Goodwell and know how to spur the high caliber horses inside the Thomas and Mack. Hardy (Chad) Braden started his first WNFR with fireworks. His 87.50-point ride aboard HATitude Alpha dog earned Braden his first go-round buckle. He has collected two more checks and sits eighth in the average after suffering a no score in the second round.

Audy Reed continues to get stronger as the nights progress. After missing the top six money holes in the first round, he has collected every night since and sits comfortably at fourth place in the ever-important aggregate race.

Former PRCA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider, Taos Muncy grabbed a piece of the pie in the second round and placed third in the third round to earn $15,653. The New Mexico native is sixth in the aggregate and will likely find his way to the buckle ceremony before the week is over.

Las Vegas hasn’t been the most hospitable to Clay Elliott, but the Canadian cowboy is sure to find his groove before the tenth round.

Mr. Consistency, Joe Frost, closes each night making Panhandle proud. The multiple-time WNFR qualifier has cashed checks in three of the four rounds of bull riding and sits third in the average. He is making his move up the world standings with that large aggregate check in site.

Rodeo action continues through Saturday, December 16. You can tune in on CBS Sports Network or through prorodeotv.com.