MESQUITE, TX – The weekend of Feb. 21-23 brought heartbreaks and triumphs as athletes young and old competed to move on to the richest one-day rodeo, THE AMERICAN at AT&T Stadium on March 2. The top-five Semi-final winners from Bareback Riding, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping and top-five teams in Team Roping along with the top 10 Barrel Racers and one Bull Riding qualifier advanced.
Winning rodeo contestants were awarded a nearly $300,000 payout at the Semi-finals and the Gentle Giant $100,000 Invitational Draft Horse Show paid three places.
All contestants on March 2 are aiming to win the $100,000 first place paycheck along with a prize package totaling more than $27,000 (custom Cactus trophy saddle, Polaris RANGER, Bohlin Buckle and a Browning Gun). In addition, qualifiers and exemptions compete for a $1 million-dollar side pot.
“RFD-TV is committed to paying out $2 million to the contestants. If a qualifier does not win their event, the top event winner will receive $225,000,” said Randy Bernard, President and CEO of Rural Media Group.
Barrel Racing Money Earners (Top 10 advance):
Erin Ricotti and Royal Star Commander lead the field of qualifiers to Arlington’s AT&T Stadium on March 2.
1. Erin Ricotti, Royal Star Commander, 15.038, $14,730; 2. Katelyn McLeod, Kellies Chick, 15.059, $15,344; 3. Robyn Herring, Firewaterontherocks, 15.130, $13,503; 4. June Holman, Hopes Money Boy, 15.208, $7,365; 5. Gretchen Benbenek, Shot Of Firewater, 15.247, $6,751; 6. Clint Sherlin, Bully By Design, 15.299; 7. Tami Semas, Hot N Frosted, 15.317; 8. Shelly Anzick, Scooten Ta Fame, 15.458, $1,228; 9. Kenna Squires, Flaming Pastem, 15.526; 10. Kay Blandford, KN Red By Design, 15.622.
Other money winners: Tammy Fischer, MP Quick Money, $2,455 (3rd long go round).
Other Contestants Advancing to The American:
Bareback Riding: 1. Richmond Champion, $3,800; 2. Tyler Nelson, $2,850; 3. Casey Breuer, $1,900; 4. RC Landingham, $950; 5. Caine Riddle.
Steer Wrestling: 1. Nick Guy, $8,216; 2. Wyatt Smith, $7,434; 3. Tyler Pearson, $6,945; 4. Dru Melvin, $5,869; 5. Tyler Waguespack, $3,326.
Team Roping: 1. Joel Bach and Tommy Zuniga, $31,680; 2. Cale Markham and Buddy Hawkins, $15,840; 3. Colby Schneeman and Seth Smithson, $12,540; 4. Logan Olson and Jordan Olson, $12,320; 5. Justin Davis and BJ Dugger, $12,540.
Saddle Bronc Riding: 1. Erik Wolford, $3,500; 2. Jesse Kruse, $2,625; 3. Rusty Wright, $1,750; 4. Cody DeMoss, $875; 5. Tyrel Larsen
Tie-Down Roping: 1. Randall Carlisle, $12,690; 2. Cory Solomon, $10,575; 3. Justin Maass, $9,517.50; 4. Blane Cox, $6,345; 5. Marcus Allen Costa, $4,230
Tie-Down Roping exemptions: Eight-time world champion Fred Whitfield and Eight-time world champion Joe Beaver.
Team Roping exemptions: Eight-time world champion Speed Williams (Shay Carroll); Seven-time world champion Jake Barnes (Junior Nogueira); Seven-time world champion Clay O’Brien Cooper (Chad Masters).
Gentle Giants $100,000 Invitational Draft Horse Show
The Gentle Giants Invitational Draft Horse Show awarded three prizes valued at $100,000. The best six-hitch teams from across the country competed for the richest payout of its kind in hitch history. The Grey Percheron Hitch of Ames Construction (Jordan, MN) placed first for $60,000, Shining Stars Percherons (Pleasant Hill, IA) hitch placed second for $25,000 and Wilderness Ridge (Sagola, MI) placed third for $15,000.
THE AMERICAN will take place on March 2, 2014, at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas. With a $2 million payout, it will be the richest one-day rodeo in history. Of the qualifiers, the Top-five winners in each rodeo event at the semifinals will advance to compete in THE AMERICAN against the Top-10 in the World Standings and the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Tickets for RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER, and the Iron Cowboy V are on sale at the AT&T Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations and at americanrodeo.com <http://www.americanrodeo.com> . Prices for each event range from $20 to $150, not including taxes.