Rodeo roundup: Vondette takes home big paycheck from Greeley |

Rodeo roundup: Vondette takes home big paycheck from Greeley

CJ Vondette of Rifle heads around the final barrel for a time of 17.27 in the barrel racing event during the annual Greeley Stampede at Island Grove Arena on July 4. Vondette won the overall barrel racing title.

GREELEY — With more than 6,800 rodeo fans in attendance on July 4, Rifle’s CJ Vondette gave a barrel racing performance to be remembered on the same day her horse, Cache A Mount’s, was born.

And on the same day that the nation’s birthday is celebrated, Vondette’s two-day barrel racing time of 34.46 earned her a tie for first place in the nearly week-long rodeo, netting her close to a five-figure payday during the state’s biggest “Cowboy Christmas” event, which is a term associated with the big paychecks that come during the week of the Fourth of July holiday.

Vondette’s time of 17.19 in the long round on July 1 was good enough for an eventual third-place $3,119 paycheck. After the successful run, the 23-year-old barrel racer was in a good position to take home the championship to be held on Independence Day.

Her time of 17.27 in the championship round earned her second place and a paycheck of $1,386. Her total combined time of 34.46 seconds for the two rounds earned Vondette a tie for the title with Shelley Morgan of Helena, Mont., a Mortensen championship belt buckle and more than $4,000. All total, Vondette walked away with $8,345 when the weekend was over.

The win at Greeley increased Vondette’s lead in the Mountain States Circuit and moved her to the top-30 standings worldwide.

Another local professional barrel racer, Ronnie Will of Silt, placed 13th in the long round of the Pikes Peak or Bust Stampede pro rodeo qualifier, making her eligible to advance to the rodeo round in Colorado Springs. Will is in the Top 10 of the Mountain States Circuit standings and in the top 150 worldwide.

Rifle bull riders also celebrated Cowboy Christmas with their own share of paychecks.

Dallas Rohrig won the bull riding title on July 2 at the Snowmass Western Heritage Weekly Rodeo, held Wednesdays throughout the summer in Snowmass Village. His younger brother, Colt Rohrig, placed second over the Independence Day weekend in the bull riding at the Collbran Junior Rough Stock Rodeo.

Colten Fritzlan, who had just competed for a junior high school national championship the week prior in Iowa, won the bull riding event both July 4 and July 5 in Craig at the Moffat County Little Britches Rodeo.

Fritzlan also won the team roping title on Friday, with Brannan Allen of Fruita.

Competing in the boys goat tying, Fritzlan was third on Friday and second on both Saturday and Sunday.

Breakaway roping saw Fritzlan lasso a third place finish on July 4 and fourth place on both Saturday and Sunday.

Ribbon roping with Parachute’s Josey Snidow saw her manage a third-place finish on Friday and fourth place on Saturday.

Snidow was third in the barrels and the poles on Friday to go along with her third-place ribbon roping run with Fritzlan.

Sunday Snidow placed third in the junior girls goat tying and the barrel race.

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