Have you ever ever pushed a automotive so wild that it left you with sweat in your forehead? A automotive so uncontrollable, so unruly, that it really examined your expertise? Colten Fritzlan is aware of this sense all too nicely as a member of the Arizona Ridge Riders, one of many eight groups within the Skilled Bull Riders’ PBR Groups league. Nevertheless, through the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Public sale, we caught up with him in a special setting, surrounded by collector autos and a gas-powered “bull” of kinds – however extra on that later.
Colten’s expertise with outdated automobiles is extra akin to an ox than a bull. “In highschool, I had a 1973 Ford Maverick. It wasn’t a race automotive or something like that, however my grandpa and I labored on it collectively.” Presently residing in his hometown of Rifle, Colorado, the automotive sadly doesn’t obtain a lot consideration from Colten attributable to his present location in Texas however he hopes to proceed fixing it up sometime and bringing it again to its former glory.
Rising up on a ranch, Colten was all the time round livestock, and he carries on a convention because the fourth era of Fritzlans to compete in rodeo and roughstock occasions. Whether or not or not it’s bull driving or driving horses one-handed – with or with out a saddle – for eight seconds, Colten was immersed on this world. Nevertheless, it’s value noting that rising up in such an atmosphere isn’t necessary for getting into rodeos. As an example, Bobby “The Concrete Cowboy” DelVecchio grew up within the Bronx however grew to become one of many greats. “All it takes is a dream. You must be a sponge and soak all of it in,” Colten says.
Colten began with calf driving in beginner rodeos and progressively moved as much as steers, mini bulls, and finally, bull driving. A big milestone in his rodeo journey was attending Gary Leffew’s bull driving camp in Utah, which performed an important function in his coming-of-age as a rodeo athlete. Colten’s household even hosted a number of camps in collaboration with Leffew, who is called the “rodeo guru.”
In 2022, Colten was chosen because the first-round draft choose for the Missouri Thunder, a founding staff for the game’s first team-based bull driving league. Reflecting on the draft, Colten remembers, “I used to be recovering from an damage at the moment, so there was numerous uncertainty surrounding the draft. I used to be lucky sufficient to be picked up by the Missouri Thunder, and it was a terrific staff to be part of.” Nevertheless, to everybody’s shock, Colten was traded to the Arizona Ridge Riders a yr later. He feedback on his new staff, saying, “Everybody on the staff has a optimistic mindset, and everybody strives for greatness, which is necessary to me. Moreover, being able to succeed in out to co-coach Colby Yates anytime has been superior.”
After a heart-wrenching loss within the closing sport of the inaugural season championship final November, the Arizona Ridge Riders are extra decided than ever to strengthen and practice their staff, each mentally and bodily. With the addition of promising expertise like Colten to their already resilient roster, the Ridge Riders goal to construct upon their spectacular consistency from the inaugural season, through which the staff went 14-13-1. As they welcome again their wholesome returning riders, together with Luciano de Castro, Eduardo Aparecido, Vitor Losnake and Keyshawn Whitehorse, and introduce a handful of confirmed athletes, the query lingers: Will this be the yr the Ridge Riders make a triumphant comeback and seize the PBR Groups Championship trophy? And amidst this quest for victory, might Colten be the important thing to their success? Time will inform. The 2023 PBR Groups season begins July 24 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, racing towards the title hunt that culminates within the Championship in Las Vegas, October 20-22.
In March of this yr, Colten participated within the PBR Ty Murray Invitational offered by the Downs Racetrack & On line casino, successful $41,656 in prize cash. “The Ty Murray Invitational is likely one of the hardest occasions to win. It’s only one step nearer to the highest of the mountain,” Colten remarks. On the time of writing, Colten holds the 18th rank on the planet standings, a big achievement for a cowboy who gained the 2020 PRCA Resistol Rookie of the 12 months title on the younger age of 19. He later clinched the Nationwide Finals Rodeo common title and gained the championship title at The American Rodeo in 2021.
With unwavering focus and a dose of perspective, Colten emphasizes, “Ultimately, it’s simply bull driving.” He repeats these phrases when requested about his emotions on being a part of a staff, emphasizing that he trusts the method and avoids distractions.
Whereas attending the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Public sale in Las Vegas final month, Colten, a first-timer, was extremely impressed with the occasion. “It was really superior! I used to be thrilled to be part of it. You don’t need to look far to seek out one thing wonderful.” When requested about his favourite autos, Colten’s style spans a variety. “For traditional automobiles, I’d need to go together with an outdated Dodge pickup. I additionally liked the black Road Outlaws Nova – it’s an actual beast. Newer Corvettes additionally catch my eye… that cherry crimson Z06 was really spectacular.” Nonetheless, his trusty 1991 Dodge Ram 250 pickup, which as soon as belonged to his grandfather, holds a particular place in his coronary heart.
Exterior the conference middle, Colten had the chance to hitch a journey in a car as wild because the animals he rides. Reflecting on his expertise with the Dodge Challenger drift automotive, he describes it as “uncontrolled.” Has Colten lastly met his match? We are able to solely think about his response: “Ultimately, it’s simply bull driving.”
Trying to attend an occasion? Don’t miss out on the 2023 PBR Groups Championship, returning to the colourful metropolis of Las Vegas from Friday, October 20 to Sunday, October 22. Prepare for an adrenaline-packed expertise and head to to benefit from a particular 30% low cost that’s obtainable. Safe your tickets now and be a part of this thrilling championship!