On the Trail with Tyrel Larsen

by Siri Stevens
Chaney and Tyrel at the altar
pictured with siblings around 2000
Tyrel competing at Red Bluff in the Wild Ride as Fallon Taylor

 

story by Siri Stevens

 

Tyrel Larsen obtained his undergraduate degree at Panhandle State University in Business Management and rode saddle broncs under the direction of rodeo coach, Craig Latham; he took it a few steps further, marrying his daughter, Chaney, October 17.  “Somebody was trying to talk me into buying her flowers one day for Valentine’s day and it went from there,” said the Canadian from Inglis, Manitoba. Tyrel has had a busy summer, preparing for his wedding and punching his ticket to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in December. He took the 15th spot by $573 over Chad Ferley. “I was 16th two years ago so I know how it feels,” he said. “It was a little bit déjà vu from a few years ago. It all worked out. There were at least seven of us that last weekend that could have probably made it. Whoever drew good really and got lucky is what it came down to. There’s no hard feelings, but it’s tough. I’ve been there and you’re not ever mad at anybody but yourself.” Tyrel blew his knee out last year. “I got hurt when I was having the best year I’ve ever had.” He spent eight months recovering and working in Canada to put the money together to hit the rodeo road once he was cleared. “Chaney and I bought a house instead and so I had to scrape it together to go, but it worked out.” He will be riding broncs at the Thomas and Mack and his younger brother, Orin, will be there as well, riding barebacks, competing for the first time and making it in the 10th spot.

Tyrel has been in the United States now for almost eight years, and during that time, he made five trips to the College National Finals Rodeo and won it his fifth year, 2012. The distance from Manitoba and his home in Weatherford, Okla., is 25 hours. “It was 21 hours from home to Guymon,” he said. “And we’d drive that straight through.” Driving is nothing new to Tyrel or his family. “We rode steers in the amateur association. Being in Manitoba we had to drive further I’d say an average of six hours to a rodeo a weekend to a CCA rodeo – so it didn’t seem like that big a deal to go to school so far away.” Tyrel’s dad, Kevin, who ranches, amateur rodeoed as a bull rider, and got the family interested.  His mom, Wanda, runs a hair salon, Wanda’s Barber Shop in nearby Roblin, Manitoba. In addition to his younger brother, Orin, Tyrel has an older sister, Cassie, and a younger brother, Kane, who is just finishing college.

“Manitoba’s winters are really tough. Once we came down and had a full year, me and my two brothers, and could practice in February and March and the guys back home were feeding cows from the trucks, it was pretty awesome.” He has known his wife, Chaney, since his freshman year of college in 2008. The couple is expecting their first child in April.  He has been rodeoing in the PRCA since 2010, balancing his education with his rodeo career. After obtaining his Business Management degree, he went on to his Masters, completing his MBA in Business Administration in 2013 through Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. “My first year on my Masters was a reality check,” he said. “The work was piled on to make sure I was taking it serious. I was rodeoing full time and college rodeoing, so I’d stop at different colleges and write papers for a few hours and send stuff off, it was a little bit of dedication but I’m sure glad I did it.”

He chose the business degrees for a variety of reasons. “Everything is a business whether it’s running your place, getting a job, or anything – it’s all business related in one way or another.” He is not sure what he’s going to do with his degree. “My biggest idea was to come down and go to school and get that paid for with rodeo.” He went on to get his masters to help him make some investment decisions and get as much education in the business world and financial world to make good decisions so he’s sitting better financially when he’s done. “I have to pay taxes on both sides of the border, so that takes a chunk out of my earnings,” he said. He’s investing in buying a place, putting on a wedding, and now that they have a place, he’s working on paying it off. “We’d like to buy a little bit of land and add on to the house and add value to the place so hopefully it’s worth more in the end.”

Since Tyrel is Canadian, he can’t have a full time job in the United States. “I was fortunate enough to have a decent winter and go all year and keep a fire at the place, rodeo, and put a wedding on.” Tyrel and Chaney got married at their place in Weatherford and had the reception in Guymon. They took a short honeymoon in Florida and are focused on the finals. He’s planning to start on his green card now that he’s married. “Since I’ve been on two different student visas and a sport visa, it should be pretty easy. It can take some time, though. It depends on your paperwork – sometimes it takes a couple years to get. You never know.” Once he gets his card, he will continue to rodeo and be able to get some cows or do day work. “It would open up a lot more doors for me.” ”

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