From OPSU News
Danae Moore, Communications Director
Casper, Wyo. – Lights, fireworks, sponsors flags and horses rattling the bucking chutes while the National Anthem echoes through the crowd. The opening ceremony of the College National Finals Rodeo inside the Casper Events Center is enough to give any cowboy or cowgirl chills of excitement. The first day of the prestigious event is officially in the books and the men of Panhandle State Rodeo had a good start to the week.
The Bulls, Broncs and Breakaway performances held Sunday, June 15 showcased many of the OPSU Rodeo talents. Joe Frost began his quest for the coveted all-around title with a strong 80-point ride in the bull riding. He placed second in the first round while teammate Jeff Bertus was unable to make the eight-second whistle.
Orin Larsen is a veteran inside the Casper Events Center. Larsen, the 2013 National Champion Bareback Rider, made a solid 74.5-point ride to tie him for sixth position in the first round. Logan Glendy suffered a no score.
When it comes time for the saddle bronc riding, all eyes are on the cowboys in the red and blue vests hailing from the legendary bronc riding capital. Joe Harper experienced much success last year in Casper and his start to this year’s finals is no different. The Nevada-native posted a ride of 73.5 points to situate himself in eighth place. Nat Stratton was just a few points behind with a score of 71. CNFR rookie, Shade Etbauer, experienced difficulty in his opening ride.
The week has just begun in Casper as the contestants will have a total of three full rounds of competition before the short go held Saturday night where the top 12 in each event will compete. Slack will run through Tuesday which will conclude the first two rounds for all events.