Rifle’s Colten Fritzlan is in the mix to win national rodeo championship in bull riding | AspenTimes.com
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Rifle’s Colten Fritzlan is in the mix to win national rodeo championship in bull riding

Ray Erku, Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Rifle native Colten Fritzlan rides a bucking bull. Provided

Colten Fritzlan could win it all.

Rifle’s hometown staple and rodeo phenom, Fritzlan is on track to win the National Finals Rodeo in Arlington, Texas. The athlete has so far completed seven rounds of bull riding.

“What they tell me right now, I’m roughly third or fourth in the world right now, so it’s anybody’s game,” he said Tuesday morning before heading into the sixth round. “But right now I’m not looking at any of that until that Saturday round.”



Fritzlan, 20, is in his rookie season as a professional bull rider and is competing against 14 of the finest bull riders in the entire world. Fritzlan’s finest round came Saturday night as he nabbed a first-place finish in round three with 89 points.

“It feels really good,” he said. “Just coming in I knew I just had to do my job, that it would come together and it would be really good.”



According to Fritzlan’s mother Velvet, the rookie rodeo star has already won two Colorado junior high titles as a bull rider, two Colorado State High School Rodeo Association titles as well as two Southwest Region titles. He also won the PRCA permit finals last year.

“He’s got all the determination and all the hard work in the world,” she said. “He’s been plagued with injuries just like anybody in the sport, but he just keeps coming up swinging.”

Colten Fritzlan said he’s able to overcome his various injuries based on how he reacts.

“It’s going to happen in this given sport and how you react to it is all based upon yourself,” he said. “It’s all god’s timing, I believe. If he does that for you, then that’s your time to step back and reassess yourself, reassure your goals and reassess what you want to do.”

In addition to his various accomplishments in rodeo, Colten Fritzlan also gained a scholarship to Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas.

Now, the Rifle native who’s been riding with his father and uncles since he was 7 years old heads into the ninth round Thursday.

“All the bright lights and bucking chutes is everything he’s dreamed of since he was 7,” said Velvet Fritzlan. “And for him to step out there is just surreal.”

Colten was asked how he feels heading into the final go-arounds of the grand spectacle.

“We’re all here with one goal in mind: to win a world title,” he said. “That’s my goal in mind. Whoever’s going to be the most consistent, that’s going to be your world champion.”

The 2020 National Finals Rodeo ends Dec. 12.

rerku@citizentelegram.com


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