Rodeo kicks off tonight in Rifle |

Rodeo kicks off tonight in Rifle

The beginning of August starts the Fair season in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association, and arena athletes, especially ones from Garfield County, were busy this week traveling and competing all across North America.

CJ Vondette, 23, of Rifle, riding Doc Dry Badger, aka “Popper,” picked up a third-place check for $503 in the barrel racing at the Eastern Colorado Roundup PRCA rodeo in Akron on Aug. 3. Vondette currently sits in 45th place in the WPRA’s worldwide standings, but she dropped into second place in the Mountain States Circuit standings to Kaley Bass, the current world leader.

Silt’s Ronnie Will won a check for eighth place and $52 in the barrel racing at the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series, which took place Aug. 1 and 2. Will has consistently picked up checks at the weekly PRCA rodeo.

Will is in the top 130 worldwide and in 12th position in the Mountain States Circuit, comprising Colorado and Wyoming.

Both local barrel racers will compete at the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo today, which takes place at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle.

Festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. today, and it’s one of the two rodeo events of the week. The other is an event sponsored by the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) circuit, which begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the fairgrounds arena.

Another much-anticipated event at the fair will be the annual Demolition Derby, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday inside of the rodeo arena. The event, which annually brings in a standing-room-only crowd into the fairgrounds grandstands, also brings in junk-car competitors from across Western Colorado and beyond.

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