Class of 2017
Larry grew up on a ranch on Succor Creek in the high desert country of the Owyhee’s. He was one of five children. He started riding calves at the brandings and then one night entered the calf riding at the Caldwell Night Rodeo. To his surprise he won and received a nice saddle (which he still has).
During high school, Larry played football. According to his then coach, Larry was one of the toughest and best players he’d ever coached. (Larry would never say this of himself, but his wife Kay provided this information without Larry’s knowledge, and we’re keeping it in.) Larry also went to high school rodeos, qualified for the High School Finals in Valentine, Nebraska, finishing 2nd in the nation. He also placed in the bareback riding, first go. Larry began riding in the amateur rodeos, but soon went pro with the PRCA. At 19 he entered Pendleton and won the bull riding.
Soon after, Jim Roeser talked Larry into going to California and working for Cutting Hall-of-Famer, Don Dodge. He learned a lot and rode a lot of great horses, but felt horse shows just weren’t his thing. Larry and Don remained friends until Don’s death though.
Larry went back to riding bulls, but tore his knee up. He then returned to the ranch to heal up, but was drafted for Vietnam. Due to his bad knees, Larry failed the physical though. He soon joined up with Freckles Brown, entering Denver, unfortunately Larry then broke his leg. It was back to the ranch then.
In 1968, Larry was back on the bulls, and he met his future wife, Kay, at a rodeo (they’ve been married over 48 years as of this writing). They soon had two sons, Bobby and Jace, whom Larry refers to as “near perfect.”
Larry qualified for circuit finals numerous times, and finished in the top 30 numerous times, often placing 2nd and 3rd, though the number slot proved elusive.
In 1978, Larry and Kay bought a “rundown place” and the “real work” began. Larry was still going to rodeos, and fortunately won the Bull Riding at Fort Worth, TX, which “saved our bacon, as we had a land payment coming up,” Larry said. During this stretch, Larry also worked for the BLM, gathering wild horses. He was so good at hit, they even gave him an award.
In 1980, Larry broke his neck at Union, Oregon, ending his bull riding days. During his riding days, Larry broke his leg, ribs, tore his shoulder up, and had 5 knees surgeries, including a knee replacement. All that and Larry still says “it was a great time.”
In 1983, Larry became a salaried employee of the PRCA and was a pro official for 25 years. He was a 3-time Judge of the Year, and was honored to have judged every event at the NFR. Upon retiring, he took the position of head of Animal Welfare Division at the PRCA for another 3 years.
Today Larry and Kay run their ranch with some help. Kay’s biography mentions their numerous worthwhile endeavors, but Larry adds to their belief that they have been blessed wonderful family and friend. According to Larry, “…doing what I love, rodeo, and ranching—what more can anyone wish for. Happy Trails to all.”