Rifle’s Colten Fritzlan falls short of bull riding title, recovers from scary moment
DES MOINES, Iowa — Colten Fritzlan fell short and recovered from a scary moment in his bid to become a bull riding national champion, finishing 13th in the bull riding average Saturday night at the National Junior High Rodeo Finals at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Fritzlan, who was making his second appearance in two years at the national junior high finals, posted a score of 79 Tuesday on his first of three rides. He was unable to go the full eight seconds on his second ride and, on his third, lasted nearly six seconds before he was bucked off.
On the way down, he got hung up on the bull and, after he was able to break loose, had his helmet knocked off. The bull he was riding also landed on the back of Fritzlan’s left thigh after bucking. Fritzlan had to be assisted out of the rodeo arena following his ride.
On-site doctors examined Fritzlan following his ride. Colten’s mother, Velvet, confirmed in a text message Saturday night that her son was OK.
Fritzlan, 14, finished sixth in the nation during the 2013 national finals in Gallup, N.M., last year, finishing with a score of 137 on two rides. He was only three-tenths of a second away from reaching the eight-second mark on his third and final ride a year ago.
Cannon Cravens of Tahlequah, Okla., rode three on his way to the winning score of 223. Briggs Madsen of Honeyville, Utah, won Saturday night’s short-go with a score of 78, and it gave him a three-ride, second-place score of 215.
Fritzlan’s 79 was the second-best ride of the week-long rodeo. Only Canyon Atkinson of Big Spring Texas, who won the second short-go Saturday morning with an 83, had a better ride during the week.
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