Blue Hill, Neb. (December 2, 2018) – Three Nebraskans have qualified to compete at pro rodeo’s world championship, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), held in Las Vegas December 6-15. Bareback riders Steven Dent, Mullen, and Orin Larsen, Gering, and saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, Elsmere, will ride at the annual WNFR, held at the Thomas and Mack Arena in Las Vegas.
For thirty-two year old Dent,this is his ninth WNFR qualification. In high school, the all-around athlete played football, basketball, wrestled, and ran track, helping Mullen High School to a state championship in football his junior year and winning a state wrestling title his senior year. He ranches with his wife Kay and three children, ages five, three and one, near Mullen. Dent enters this year’s WNFR in eighth place with $109,419.90 won.
Larsen is a Nebraska transplant, having grown up in Inglis, Manitoba but moving to Gering three years ago with his then-fiancee (now wife) Alexa. Last month, he tore his meniscus at the Canadian Finals Rodeo. He’s had surgery and is doing everything he can to help it heal in time for ten nights of rodeo at the WNFR. It’s healing faster than planned, and with his doctor’s blessing, he hopes to be at the WNFR. This will be the fourth WNFR qualification for Larsen, who is twenty-seven years old. He enters the WNFR in fourth place, with $130,655.10 in regular season earnings.
Saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer, Elsmere, finished the 2017 rodeo season in sixteenth place, one spot out of qualifying for the WNFR. He has been to five WNFRs and finished as reserve world champion in 2014. In the winter, he makes his home in Stephenville, Texas, but spends the summers in Nebraska and on the rodeo road. Scheer enters this year’s Finals in ninth place in the saddle bronc riding, with $101,842.66 won. The WNFR is the PRCA’s world championship of rodeo.
Often called the “super bowl” of the sport, it features ten nights of rodeo competition. The top fifteen contestants in each of seven events qualify, based on money won during the regular season. At the end of the ten nights of rodeo, Dec. 15, world champions are crowned. Total payoff for the WNFR is $10 million. The WNFR begins at 7 pm Pacific Time Dec. 6-15. It is aired live on CBS Sports and with a delay on www.ProRodeo.TV.