It didn't happen the way they planned, and it wasn't particularly pretty—but current Resistol Rookie of the Year contender Coy Rahlmann and veteran horseman Ryan VonAhn took home $7,922 per man and $20,000 Ram Truck vouchers at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, held in Greeley, Colorado.
After Brady Tryan and Justin Viles, the first team in the final round, took a no-time, Rahlmann and Von Ahn took a plus-five on their short round steer to stop the clock at 11.1 seconds. Frustrated, they sat and watched as the Mexican circuit team of Bandis Guiterrez and Orlando Jauregui got a barrier and a leg. Then, the California circuit team of Jr. Dees and Nano Garza got a leg, too, to finish in 12.8 seconds.
"After our run in the final round, I didn't know how it would end up," Rahlmann, just 19, said. "But it just kind of fell apart. It was a shocker to everybody and it went our way."
[SHOP: VonAhn's Winning Cactus Rope]
VonAhn, who's 31 and qualified for three previous RNCFRs on the head side, was in disbelief.
"One of the committee men said I'd need to run over and get ready to get in the truck if the final team messed up," VonAhn said. "I said, 'Don't worry, that ain't happening.' But it fell our way, and it was unbelievable."
Rahlmann and VonAhn roped second out in the round of four because they finished third in the semifinal round after Rahlmann struggled to get tight.
"My horse has been a little sore the last couple times I got him out of the stall just from standing," Rahlmann, who has $8,668.59 won on the year in the 2020 standings and is third in the Resistol Rookie race, said. "He kind of got hung up and wouldn't face and climbed up the wall the wrong way. I think it cost us from probably winning the round. We still won third and got some money for that."
That's unusual from Charlie, Rahlmann's go-to, 10-year-old mount.
[SHOP: Rahlmann's Winning Classic Heel Rope]
"I went and changed some bits and kind of did some stuff to get to pulling around a little better. I knew he was sore, but I needed him to tough it out for one more," Rahlmann said. "He came from some of my really good friends in Southern Illinois. I've bought a lot of horses from them. Tim Glasco and his son-in-law Eric. Hancock is about the only thing he's got on his papers that I know. He's just a diamond in the rough, I don't know."
VonAhn was on a 7-year-old gelding named Simple that he bought from his brother—two-time World Champion Kollin VonAhn.
"He's a cool horse, and I just got him over the Fourth of July," VonAhn said. "I was riding a Paint, and he's a lot better than that so I'm glad for that. Kollin just thought this one was a little stronger. He'd rode him at some of the bigger ropings and thought that's what I kind of needed. Older brothers always know best."
VonAhn will spend the winter in Arizona getting horses ready for the Hershberger Performance Horse Sale in Queen Creek, while Rahlmann will return to Cisco Junior College in Cisco, Texas, where he's roping at the college rodeos with Kirby Blankenship. He plans to rodeo with BFI Champion Lane Siggins at the fall and winter rodeos.
"Obviously I'd still like to do it with Ryan, because he's the first person to ever show me a PRCA rodeo, but I'm pretty excited for Lane," Rahlmann said. "Hopefully we'll have a good winter and make the Finals."
[SHOP: Rahlmann's Apparel Sponsors]
The win is a big one for Rahlmann, who grew up roping with his dad, Chris, in the USTRC and watching his mom, Susie, amateur rodeo running barrels.
"My parents are some of the biggest reasons I do what I do," Rahlmann said. "When I got old enough to be on a bigger scale, they pitched the reins to me and said, 'It's all yours!'"
While Rahlmann has NFR goals, VonAhn is looking to keep on keeping on in the Great Lakes Circuit.
"I really like the Great Lakes Circuit," VonAhn laughed. "Thirty rodeos is plenty for me. I love Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa. That's where I'll be!"
The RNCFR—originally slated for April 2020 in Kissimmee—was moved to Greeley after the COVID-19 shutdown prohibited organizers from holding the original event in its indoor venue. Greeley's Stampede Park is a large outdoor venue that allowed for ample social distancing by the 1,000-or-so attendees, volunteers and contestants. This year's RNCFR earnings do not count toward any other standings—a departure from recent years' precedent. They will count once more for the 2021 standings. TRJ
First round: 1. Jacob Dagenhart/Zack Mabry, 5.1 seconds, $3,735 each; 2. Luke Brown/Paul Eaves, 5.5, $2,829; 3. Dawson Graham/Keely Bonnett, 5.6, $2,037; 4. Quinn Kesler/Colby Siddoway, 5.7, $1,358; 5. Kellan Johnson/Brock Hanson, 6.1, $792; 6. Jason Stewart/Calgary Smith, 6.3, $566.
Second round: 1. Erich Rogers/Lane Siggins, 4.3 seconds, $3,735 each; 2. Coy Rahlmann/Ryan Von Ahn, 5.3, $2,829; 3. (tie) Brady Tryan/Justin Viles and Radley Day/Taylor Williams, 5.9, $1,698 each; 5. Dawson Graham/Keely Bonnett, 6.0, $792; 6. Kellan Johnson/Brock Hanson, 6.2, $566.
Average: 1. Dawson Graham/Keely Bonnett, 11.6 seconds on two head, $3,735 each; 2. (tie) Quinn Kesler/Colby Siddoway and Luke Brown/Paul Eaves, 12.2, $2,433 each; 4. Kellan Johnson/Brock Hanson, 12.3, $1,358; 5. Jr. Dees/Nano Garza, 13.3, $792; 6. Coy Rahlmann/Ryan Von Ahn, 13.6, $566.
Semifinals: 1. Jr. Dees/Nano Garza, 5.0 seconds, $4,527 each; 2. Bandis Guiterrez/Orlando Jauregui, 5.4, $3,395; 3. Coy Rahlman/Ryan Von Ahn, $2,263; 4. Brady Tryan/Justin Viles, 7.0, $1,132.
Finals: 1. Coy Rahlmann/Ryan Von Ahn, 11.1 seconds, $4,527 each; 2. Jr. Dees/Nano Garza, 12.8, $3,395; 3. Bandis Guiterrez/Orlando Jauregui, 19.5, $2,263.