Necessity is the mother of invention, so goes the saying. And for two brothers from Manitoba trying to break into rodeo, it couldn’t be more true.
Tyrel, 26, and Orin, 24, Larsen of Inglis, caught the rodeo bug from their father, Kevin Larsen, who rode bulls while at Olds College in Olds, Alta.
The family moved from Alberta to Manitoba in 1999 and the boys became involved in the Manitoba High School Rodeo and the Canadian Cowboys Association.
“In Manitoba, we built our own homemade bucking machine in the house,” said Tyrel. “We didn’t have a choice, nothing else existed.”
Years later, the brothers qualified for the big show — the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, held in Las Vegas in early December. The two don’t compete against each other. Tyrel rides saddle bronc, while Orin competes in bareback.
The brothers had to leave Manitoba after high school and headed south to pursue a career in the rodeo. Tyrel went to Oklahoma while Orin first went to the College of Southern Idaho and then joined Tyrel in Oklahoma at Panhandle State University.
Tyrel recently married his rodeo coach’s daughter and both brothers have been supporting themselves in the rodeo ring.
Younger brother, Kane, is just finishing school at Panhandle State University and is also looking to one day join his brothers in Las Vegas.
The brothers started in rodeo in their early teens, as soon as their parents gave them the OK.
“Anyone who tells you it’s going to be an easy road to get there is lying, no matter what road you pick,” said Orin. “It’s a hard struggle that takes dedication, hard work and discipline. But it’s a huge honour and privilege to be among the top 15 guys. It’s pretty cool.”
Added Tyrel: “It’s also about jumping in with the right guys at the right time, having good travelling partners and everything. Orin and I don’t always see each other throughout the year, but to be able to go to about a 100 rodeos a year and finish it off at the biggest rodeo in the world is pretty cool.”
The brothers say they are not in rodeo for the money.
“We have a blast doing what we do,” said Orin. “You hang out with the right people, you have lifelong friends. It’s amazing. Rodeos are about having fun. And you can get paid for it.”