The Fourth of July is known as "Cowboy Christmas" in rodeo circles because of all of the prize money riders stand to make.
A week before the big weekend, barrel racers were descending on the Rocky Mountain states in droves. The National Barrel Horse Association's Colorado District 10 co-sanctioned race with Racing in the Rockies in Craig pulled in a few outside Women's Professional Rodeo Association competitors and lost a few of their own to the rodeo circuit.
The Open 1D points leader Margie Ward was unable to compete in the NBHA race since she was busy running in the PRCA rodeo in Steamboat Springs.
That left the door open for C.J. Vondette, 13 of Rifle to close the gap and tie up the lead for the Open 1D saddle.
Front Range barrel racer De Chapman took the Open 1D win but being a non-member turned over the five first place points to Vondette. The teenager also took the Youth 1D win and widened the lead on the Youth field in that saddle race.
District 10 Director Kay Brooks of Hayden extended "a great big thank you to Racing in the Rockies, Denneane Conn and Terri Gold for co-sanctioning our event in Craig." Having a co-sanction with RITR alleviates the expenses for the district by covering the arena rental and insurance, she said.
The next District 10 points races will be July 24 in Meeker. It will be a double header race day.
A District 10 race takes place July 31 in Craig.