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Riding high on the pro circuit

For most of their young-adult lives the Larsen brothers — Tyrel, Orin and Kane — have been involved in one sport and one sport only — rodeo.

But they aren’t complaining. The heritage of the sport is close to the Inglis family’s heart and being involved in rodeo is looked at as being a great experience.

“Over the years, I look to my family as being key mentors in my life,” said Kane, the youngest of four children. “From my dad and brothers to other trail mates today, the help, words of encouragement and pats on the back have been great morale boosters.”

And in terms of the ride for 19-year-old Kane, it has all been about that elusive eight seconds, just as it is for his older brothers, Tyrel (23), who graduated from Oklahoma Panhandle State University with a business degree, and Orin (20), a 2010 graduate of welding and mechanics at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.

Tyrel is now working on his master’s degree at South Western Oklahoma State University (SWOKSU). Living in Goodwell, Oklahoma as a virtual student, he rides broncs for SWOKSU. As a college athlete, Orin is competing in saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding, while their younger brother is now enrolled at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. Along with studies he is also riding bulls and broncs, focusing more on bull riding.

With all three Larsen brothers studying in the States thanks to rodeo scholarships, parents Kevin and Wanda, along with their daughter Cassie (25) — an excellent horsewoman in her own right — and her fiancé Travis Derkach of Russell couldn’t be prouder and happier for them.

Moving from the Hand Hills district south of Hanna, Alta. in June 1999, to Shell Valley, between Inglis and Roblin, the Larsen family settled into ranch life raising Angus and Angus-influenced cattle.

With the cowboy wisdom passed down and shared by their father, the western lifestyle is truly enriched on and off Shell Valley Ranch and Inn, located 16 kilometres from Inglis.

Achievements for the trio have been numerous over the years, including being amongst the rough stock contingent at the National High School Rodeo Finals and the Canadian High School Rodeo Finals, as well as competing at the Calgary Stampede, and year-end finals of the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association and Canadian Cowboys Association.

Today, highlights shine from a college rodeo athlete perspective, along with competing on the world stage as a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) member. At time of writing, Tyrel was sitting within top 10 in saddle bronc and Orin was among the top 20 bareback riders. Kane is also on board as a PRCA athlete.

Accomplishments in rodeo come in the form of hardware — buckles and trophy saddles with awards of achievement and pictures of exceptional rides being proudly showcased.

Today, when time allows, they, along with their dad help with the Build a Cowboy program, geared towards drawing a new influx of cowboys to the Manitoba High School Rodeo Association.

“Not a lot of parents would let their kid get into the exciting but dangerous eight-second world of rodeo,” said Tyrel. “Dad used to do it and all of us boys wanted to try it out when we moved out east.”

Backed by a number of championships, from small-town Manitoba to the big-city Texas stage, the Larsen brothers are to be reckoned with as they continue to search for that one elusive ride while sharing the open road with family and friends.

Throughout the years, there has been nothing more uplifting for the Larsen family than honouring the cowboy lifestyle and the history it stands for.

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