LAS VEGAS – Ahead of Saturday’s Round 3 draw for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER, there was plenty of hope among rodeo […]
21,000-Fan Crowd Shows Out for RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo Presented by DISH
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Fans gather at AT&T Stadium to watch athletes compete for a share of the $2.35 million purse
Arlington, Texas – March 2, 2019 – Tonight’s performances solidified the final qualifiers for RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo. On this Texas Independence Day, 132 athletes competed for a chance to win the $2.35 million purse.
“The competition was fiercer than ever tonight at AT&T Stadium as we kicked off the Finals,” said Randy Bernard. “A million dollars is on the line and the best athletes in the world are fighting for it.”
In an extremely close bareback competition in the long go of The American, less than three points separates the top eight qualifiers returning to AT&T Stadium tomorrow. Wyatt Denny and Ty Brueuer split first place, each earning 86.5 points. Just behind them with 85.5 points was former world champion Kaycee Feild. Also returning to compete in the short go are Bill Tutor, Orin Larson, Tilden Hooper, Wyatt Bloom and Steven Dent. Denny and Bloom are the only two who qualified through the Semi-Finals and are eligible for the million dollar payout.
“Tomorrow the world will finally know who will win their share of the $2.35 million.” said Bernard.
The steer wrestling proved to be extremely tough in the first round of The American. Out of 16 athletes only 10 received times, and nine of them were professionals. Winning the round with a 4.48 was Scott Guenthner, and just behind him in second was Ty Erickson with a blazing fast time of 4.65. Hunter Cure is trying to repeat his win from the inaugural American in 2014. He placed third in the long go, finishing in 5.04 seconds. Additionally, Will Lummus, Curtis Cassidy, Stephen Culling, Tyler Waguespack and Nick Guy will also compete in the final round.
Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira leave no doubt that they are some of the best in the team roping pen. The reigning American champions roped their steer in 4.78 seconds and won the first round of The American. Tomorrow’s short go will decide the fate for Driggers, who is trying for his fourth championship in AT&T Stadium. New team Luke Brown and Paul Eaves faced and pulled in 4.90 seconds, securing second place and guaranteeing their spot in the short go tomorrow. Luke Brown is known for winning averages at the National Finals Rodeo, which could give them the advantage in the short go. Four teams will be vying for the win tomorrow and their share of the million dollar payout. Marcus Theriot and Coleby Payne, Coleman Proctor and Ryan Motes, Rhen Richard and Cody Doescher, and Clay Tryan and McCoy Profili all qualified through the Semi-Finals and will be advancing to the short go. Two additional invited teams round out the top eight moving on; Aaron Tsinigine and Trey Yates and brothers Riley and Brady Minor.
The story of the saddle bronc riding is the exemption rider, Cody Wright. Not only did he earn the second highest score of the night riding BARTENDER to a 87.25, he was beat only by his own son Ryder Wright, who scored 89 points aboard RICH-N-FANCY. He came out of retirement after being invited to The American and made the most of the opportunity. Joining Cody Wright in the chase for the million are Jake Watson and Mitch Pollock, who were third and fourth in the round respectively, and Cole Elshere who finished in eighth. Chase Brooks, Wade Sundell and Cort Scheer also qualified back for the short go tomorrow.
The inaugural year of both The American breakaway roping and the Junior American Rodeo have been an excellent opportunity for Sawyer Gilbert. The high schooler qualified for The American after winning the Junior American breakaway and beat every other competitor at AT&T Stadium in the long go with a time of 2.22. Coming in third was another Junior qualifier, Madison Outhier, who roped her calf in 2.5 seconds. Six additional ropers will advance to the short go; Kelcie Chace, Jackie Crawford, Abigail Hampton, Taylor Munsell, Beau Peterson and Paige Abernathy.
The lineup is stacked for the final go of the tie down roping at The American. Six of the eight competing tomorrow are professional cowboys who were invited to AT&T Stadium, including 24 time world champion Trevor Brazile. With a fast time of 6.84 seconds by Jake Pratt, the Semi-Finals qualifiers Riley Pruitt and Bobby Abernathy will have to make their best runs to win their portion of the million dollar payout. Ryle Smith, Tyson Durfey, Caleb Smith and Rhen Richard will also advance to the short go.
Kylie Weast led the barrel racing tonight and stayed in first for the entire event. Although she was invited to The American in tenth place, her time of 14.398 held to win her the short go. In second, Jessie Telford stopped the clock with a time of 14.490. Craig Brooks is the only male barrel racer progressing to the final round of The American after running a time of 14.501. In fourth place was Hailey Kinsel who is no stranger to AT&T Stadium. She and her super mare Sister took home their portion of the million in 2017 after winning the barrel race. Sydni Blanchard is no stranger to success in the rodeo world, but she qualified for The American through the Semi-Finals and competes for the million dollar payout, along with Donna Kay Rule who finished in seventh. Rounding out the top eight are Amberleigh Moore and Taci Bettis. PBR cowboy Chase Outlaw takes the Saturday night win with a 86.25 point ride on bull Johnny Thunder. Five bull riders will advance to the short go; JT Moore, Juao Ricardo Vieira, Will Centoni and Brennon Eldred.
Finals for The American conclude tomorrow at AT&T Stadium. Live results are available at http://www.americanrodeo.com/live-results and photos can be found at https://rfdtv.zenfolio.com/theamerican. Aggregates will be uploaded to The American website, social media channels and app tomorrow morning.
About RFD-TV’s The American, presented by DISH
Taking place at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium on March 2-3, 2019, RFD-TV’s The American, hosts the richest weekend in Western sports. With $2.35 million on the line, the best athletes in the world will gather in Arlington, Texas to battle for the biggest single paycheck of their lives. The American invites the top athletes from the 2018 PRCA, WPRA and PBR world standings and puts them against everyday cowboys and cowgirls who advance from the American Semi-Finals. If a nationally ranked athlete wins, the prize is $100,000, but if a qualifier from the Semi-Finals – or an athlete who earned an exemption – wins THE AMERICAN, that contestant shares in a $1 million bonus pool. For more information, please visit:www.americanrodeo.com and www.RFDTV.com. Follow us on Twitter: @RFDTVAMERICAN and find us on Facebook:www.facebook.com/RFDTVTheAMERICAN. To buy tickets, go to AmericanRodeo.com