Big scores close 2020 Roundup

Dodge City Roundup Rodeo has a grand history for having the best athletes in the game.

This year was pretty special, highlighted by a high-scoring championship round Sunday night. Bull rider Roscoe Jarboe was a highlight reel of his own, tying the arena record with a 93-point ride on Frontier Rodeo’s Magic Poison. For his week in Dodge City, he pocketed $8,173.

But he was just one of nine champions crowned at Roundup Arena on the final night of competition. He was joined by bareback rider Orin Larsen, steer wrestler Dalton Massey, saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright, tie-down roper Ty Harris, barrel racer BryAnna Haluptzok and two team-roping tandems, Nick Sartain and Blaine Vick and Jeff Flenniken and Tyler Worley.

“This rodeo is awesome, and the horses are awesome,” said Wright, the 2017 world champion who is now 22 years old. “I just want to say thanks to this committee and everybody that had a hand in having this rodeo this year. It means a lot to us cowboys who are stuck at home and not being able to rodeo.

“When we’re sitting at home, we’re not getting paid. It’s hard to pay bills when you’re not rodeoing.”

He can cover plenty of bills after his run in western Kansas. Wright matched moves with Frontier’s Big News for 92 points, the same score his older brother, Rusty, had on the same horse a year ago to win the prestigious title. For his efforts, Ryder Wright pocketed $5,616.

But he wasn’t alone in that. A lot of cowboys and cowgirls found big paydays in Dodge City. Roundup Rodeo featured a record purse, paying out $401,285.

“I’ve been coming to this rodeo for a long time, and it’s a really hard rodeo to win,” said Larsen, who also posted a 92-point ride to win the bareback riding title. “Frontier brings the A string of horses. It’s tough to win this one, but once you win it, it feels pretty dang good.”

Larsen earned the biggest pay in his event after his high-marked ride on Pickett Pro Rodeo’s Uncapped. He added $7,574 to his season earnings and well placed in the top 10 in the world standings.

“Anytime you’ve got a Pickett horse by your name, you know you’ve got something that’s really fun, really bucky and gives you a shot to win,” said Larsen, who finished second in the world standings a season ago. “This is really great to add this win.”

With the title comes the historic Roundup buckle, a wearable trophy that is sought-after by the best in the game.

“This one’s been on my bucket list,” said Wright, who becomes yet another member of his storied bronc riding family to win the Dodge City crown. “You’ve got to win rodeos like this to win that gold buckle, so it’s nice to win the big ones.”