FORT WORTH. Texas -- (Jan. 26, 2017) – The American Semi-Finals Rodeo held in historic Fort Worth Stockyards will kick off a weeklong celebration of the Western lifestyle that is unlike any other.
Free entertainment for fans of all ages will be available in the FanZone prior to the three action-packed rodeo performances which begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 – 17. Nearly 3,500 rodeo contestants from around the world have competed at qualifying events hoping to advance to The American Semi-Finals where nearly $1 million in prize money will be paid.
The best contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding will leave Fort Worth with a good paycheck. They will also earn a chance to compete at RFD-TV’s The American presented by Polaris RANGER on Sunday, Feb. 19 at AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington.
Many of today’s top rodeo athletes are already on the semi-finals contestant roster. Nowhere else will fans be able to watch seasoned veterans and top rodeo stars going up against high school and college rodeo champions as well as other young up-and-coming athletes.
When rodeo contestants compete for a year, qualify for a championship event and win it, they get a gold buckle to mark their accomplishment. Will Lowe, from Canyon, Texas, and Steven Peebles, from Redmond, Oregon, have both earned buckles in the bareback riding and are on the contestant roster for Fort Worth.
The steer wrestling also features two former world champions, Dean Gorsuch from Gering, Nebraska, and Hunter Cure from Holliday, Texas. Team roping, a very popular event across the nation, has more former world champions competing at the Semi-Finals than any other event.
They include headers Chad Masters from Cedar Hill, Tennessee; Aaron Tsinigine from Tuba City, Arizona; Matt Sherwood from Pima, Arizona, and Nick Sartain from Dover, Oklahoma. On the heeling end, Rich Skelton, from Llano, Texas, and Kollin VonAhn from Blanchard, Oklahoma, will be roping.
Tie-down roping world champion Monty Lewis from Hereford, Texas, and barrel racing titlist Lindsay Sears from Nanton, Alberta, are also on the roster. In the bull riding, four-time world champion J.W. Harris from Mullin, Texas and Cody Teel from Kountze, Texas, will be favorites to move on.
“The American Semi-Finals might be one of the best rodeos of the year,” Lewis said. “When they added the $500,000 to the pot, they really upped the ante and gave us an incentive to come rope there. Qualifying for The American would just be the icing on the cake.”
The combination of rodeo action, the FanZone in the Stockyards, live music and the overall theme of patriotism that will be evident at every performance is sure to make this a great event for contestants and fans alike. The three performances of The American Semi-Finals will be broadcast on Rural Radio, SiriusXM Chanel 147.
About RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Presented by Polaris RANGER: Taking place at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium
on Feb. 19, 2017, RFD-TV’s The American is the richest single-day event in the history of rodeo. With $2 million on the
line, the best athletes in the world will gather in Dallas to battle for the biggest single paycheck of their lives. The
American invites the top athletes from the 2016 PRCA, ERA, WPRA and PBR world standings and pits them against
underdogs who advance from the American Semi-Finals, held Feb. 14-17 in Fort Worth. 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:
About RURAL RADIO: Found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 147 (formerly channel 80), it is the agribusiness and Western lifestyle channel for the U.S. and Canada. RURAL RADIO's program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, Western sports, and living the country life in small towns and ranches. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The channel airs multiple exclusive series including Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, Western Sports Round Up, and reports from CME on Commodity Wrap. RURAL RADIO also carries live Western sports including PBR bull-riding and PRCA rodeo events every weekend.