Meet the Member Colter France

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Colter France of Gill, Colo., lowered himself into the chutes for the very first time last fall and punched his ticket for the 2016 NHSFR in the bareback riding. He began by competing in all three roughstock events, but narrowed it down to the bareback riding by the first spring rodeo of the season. “The best part of it is riding something that bucks so hard. When I get off, I feel pretty good about it,” says the 16 year old. “That’s really why I chase after it – travelling is fun, but there’s just something about riding an animal that bucks hard. I picked the bareback riding because there’s not a lot of guys doing it anymore, and it’s kind of tough to get the hang of, but a lot of fun when you do. It feels pretty good to be at Nationals. There’s a lot of tough seniors in the bareback riding this year, so to be out here is fun.”
Colter is a second generation roughstock rider, following his dad, Carl France, who rode bulls and originally urged his son into the sport. “My dad has helped me out a lot, and when we started high school rodeos, Dave Hoffman helped me a ton. Anything we didn’t know he’d fill us in on. I think there’s not as many bareback riders because it’s hard to get into if you don’t have a place to practice,” he explains. “There’s a lot of places to rope or ride bulls, but not broncs.” Colter’s family owns several head of bucking horses, which they buck up to twice a week. “There’s a couple other bareback riders and some saddle bronc riders that come out to practice, and then my dad and Mat Carol pick up.”
The France family makes their home near Greeley, Colo., and they run cows in LaPorte, Colo. Colter is riding two colts to be ranch and roping horses, while his dad is teaching him to shoe horses. He plans to enter jackpot team ropings, and also rides bareback horses in the CPRA, sitting in the top ten of the standings. “My dad is a real good roper, and he puts on ranch bronc ridings as a part of the WSRRA,” says Colter. “I help with whatever needs doing behind the chutes. We have eight scheduled through the summer – we recently did one in Prescott (Ariz.) at the PBR. Sometimes they overlap with my rodeos, and then I’ll jump in with a buddy.”
He never leaves home without a good looking Western shirt, particularly in a paisley print. “Other people might not think they’re good looking, but I have a brown and white paisley that’s my favorite,” he says with a laugh. His older sister, Hannah (18), does leatherwork and helps him repair his roughstock gear. “She made me a cool belt, and she and my dad also made me a roping saddle.” They also have a younger sister, Hailey (12), who competes in goat tying and barrel racing. Jamie France is a rodeo mom to the core, in charge of videoing and getting everyone out the door well stocked with food and clothes.
This fall, Colter will be a junior at Platte Valley High School, where he enjoys English and American history, and is a member of FFA. “I wrestle in the winter, and I think it helps with bareback riding,” he says. “You have to be in shape and mentally tough in both sports.” In addition to helping with the ranch rodeos over the summer, Colter also helps his dad in their welding shop.
“I’d like to finish in the top ten at Nationals this year and win CPRA Rookie of the Year,” he concludes. “I plan to college rodeo, and since I was runner up in the CSHSRA bareback riding this year, next year I want to win state.”

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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