HomeCar CulturePBR's Colten Fritzlan Likes Rams and Bulls

PBR’s Colten Fritzlan Likes Rams and Bulls

The roughstock champ also has an old Maverick


Have you ever driven a car so wild that it left you with sweat on your brow? A car so uncontrollable, so unruly, that it truly tested your skills? Colten Fritzlan knows this feeling all too well as a member of the Arizona Ridge Riders, one of the eight teams in the Professional Bull Riders’ PBR Teams league. However, during the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction, we caught up with him in a different setting, surrounded by collector vehicles and a gas-powered “bull” of sorts – but more on that later.

Colten’s experience with old cars is more akin to an ox than a bull. “In high school, I had a 1973 Ford Maverick. It wasn’t a race car or anything like that, but my grandpa and I worked on it together.” Currently residing in his hometown of Rifle, Colorado, the car unfortunately doesn’t receive much attention from Colten due to his current location in Texas but he hopes to continue fixing it up someday and bringing it back to its former glory.

Growing up on a ranch, Colten was always around livestock, and he carries on a tradition as the fourth generation of Fritzlans to compete in rodeo and roughstock events. Whether it be bull riding or riding horses one-handed – with or without a saddle – for eight seconds, Colten was immersed in this world. However, it’s worth noting that growing up in such an environment isn’t mandatory for entering rodeos. For instance, Bobby “The Concrete Cowboy” DelVecchio grew up in the Bronx but became one of the greats. “All it takes is a dream. You have to be a sponge and soak it all in,” Colten says.

Colten Fritzlan during the third round of the World Finals Unleash The Beast PBR. Photo by Leo Loera for Bull Stock Media.

Colten started with calf riding in amateur rodeos and gradually moved up to steers, mini bulls, and ultimately, bull riding. A significant milestone in his rodeo journey was attending Gary Leffew’s bull riding camp in Utah, which played a vital role in his coming-of-age as a rodeo athlete. Colten’s family even hosted several camps in collaboration with Leffew, who is known as the “rodeo guru.”

In 2022, Colten was selected as the first-round draft pick for the Missouri Thunder, a founding team for the sport’s first team-based bull riding league. Reflecting on the draft, Colten recalls, “I was recovering from an injury at that time, so there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the draft. I was fortunate enough to be picked up by the Missouri Thunder, and it was a great team to be a part of.” However, to everyone’s surprise, Colten was traded to the Arizona Ridge Riders a year later. He comments on his new team, saying, “Everyone on the team has a positive mindset, and everyone strives for greatness, which is important to me. Additionally, having the ability to reach out to co-coach Colby Yates anytime has been awesome.”

After a heart-wrenching loss in the final game of the inaugural season championship last November, the Arizona Ridge Riders are more determined than ever to strengthen and train their team, both mentally and physically. With the addition of promising talent like Colten to their already resilient roster, the Ridge Riders aim to build upon their impressive consistency from the inaugural season, in which the team went 14-13-1. As they welcome back their healthy returning riders, including Luciano de Castro, Eduardo Aparecido, Vitor Losnake and Keyshawn Whitehorse, and introduce a handful of proven athletes, the question lingers: Will this be the year the Ridge Riders make a triumphant comeback and seize the PBR Teams Championship trophy? And amidst this quest for victory, could Colten be the key to their success? Time will tell. The 2023 PBR Teams season begins July 24 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, racing toward the title hunt that culminates in the Championship in Las Vegas, October 20-22.

In March of this year, Colten participated in the PBR Ty Murray Invitational presented by the Downs Racetrack & Casino, winning $41,656 in prize money. “The Ty Murray Invitational is one of the toughest events to win. It’s just one step closer to the top of the mountain,” Colten remarks. At the time of writing, Colten holds the 18th rank in the world standings, a significant achievement for a cowboy who won the 2020 PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year title at the young age of 19. He later clinched the National Finals Rodeo average title and won the championship title at The American Rodeo in 2021.

With unwavering focus and a dose of perspective, Colten emphasizes, “In the end, it’s just bull riding.” He repeats these words when asked about his feelings on being part of a team, emphasizing that he trusts the process and avoids distractions.

Colten Fritzlan signing autographs in the Fan Zone at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas.

While attending the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Auction in Las Vegas last month, Colten, a first-timer, was highly impressed with the event. “It was truly awesome! I was thrilled to be a part of it. You don’t have to look far to find something amazing.” When asked about his favorite vehicles, Colten’s taste spans a wide range. “For classic cars, I’d have to go with an old Dodge pickup. I also loved the black Street Outlaws Nova – it’s a real beast. Newer Corvettes also catch my eye… that cherry red Z06 was truly impressive.” Nevertheless, his trusty 1991 Dodge Ram 250 pickup, which once belonged to his grandfather, holds a special place in his heart.

Outside the convention center, Colten had the opportunity to hitch a ride in a vehicle as wild as the animals he rides. Reflecting on his experience with the Dodge Challenger drift car, he describes it as “uncontrolled.” Has Colten finally met his match? We can only imagine his response: “In the end, it’s just bull riding.”

Looking to attend an event? Don’t miss out on the 2023 PBR Teams Championship, returning to the vibrant city of Las Vegas from Friday, October 20 to Sunday, October 22. Get ready for an adrenaline-packed experience and head to to take advantage of a special 30% discount that’s available. Secure your tickets now and be part of this thrilling championship!

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.



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