Rifle’s C.J. Vondette sets barrel racing record | PostIndependent.com

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Rifle’s C.J. Vondette sets barrel racing record

Rifle's C.J. Vondette makes a turn in the barrel race during the Elizabeth Stampede in Elizabeth on June 7. Vondette posted a winning time of 16.07 seconds on the cloverleaf pattern to set a new arena standard in the event.

Rifle's C.J. Vondette makes a turn in the barrel race during the Elizabeth Stampede in Elizabeth on June 7. Vondette posted a winning time of 16.07 seconds on the cloverleaf pattern to set a new arena standard in the event.

The Elizabeth Stampede is one of the top small rodeos in the country, according to the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association. C.J. Vondette of Rifle put her name in the rodeo’s record books on June 7, posting a record time in barrel racing.

Traci Swisher, community relations chair for the Elizabeth Stampede, said, “C.J.’s run was amazingly smooth, and as she came around turn No. 2, we knew we were watching something special.”

Vondette beat the arena record by the slimmest of margins, crossing the finish line in 16.07 seconds. The previous record of 16.08 was set by Dianne Giffin in 2011.

“We wish the best of luck to C.J. and Grizz [Vondette’s horse]. We know we’ll be hearing more from this duo in the months to come,” Swisher said.

Vondette’s record run was one of three arena records set on June 7. Another was in saddle bronc riding, with Chad Ferley of Oelrichs S.D., posting a score of 87. The other was bareback riding, with Micky Downare of Hartsel, Colo., and Kaycee Field of Payson, Utah, tying at 84.

Vondette was in 63rd position in the world-wide Women’s Professional Rodeo Association standings through Monday’s events, and she continued to lead the Mountain States Circuit.