Prelims of world’s richest one-day rodeo start Wednesday in Fort Worth Stockyards

 

During The American Semi-Finals next week, hundreds of athletes will battle for $500,000 – and a chance a week later at $1 million.

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 9, 2016 –This is no stock show. In fact, it’s not a typical rodeo at all. The preliminary leg of RFD-TV’s $2 million event, THE AMERICAN, presented by PolarisRANGER, returns to Fort Worth’s Cowtown Coliseum on Feb. 17-18 with timed-event competition, and with performances on Feb. 19-20 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 21 at 2 p.m.

The annual half-million-dollar American Semi-Finals will showcase more than 500 of America’s top ropers and riders as they battle for fewer than 50 slots in The AMERICAN, held one week later inside AT&T Stadium. There, on Feb. 28, the Cowtown winners won’t just compete for shares of a $1 million purse, but also for a $1 million bonus available to whomever can defeat the top 10 athletes in the world.

A competitor at the inaugural Semi-Finals in 2014, collegiate bareback rider Richmond Champion, became rodeo’s first instant millionaire following an eight-second ride in the home of the Dallas Cowboys. He earned $1.1 million – all because of the rodeo in Cowtown.

“To me, the Semi-Finals is so exciting to watch not only because of its own status as one of the top-10 richest rodeos in the world, but also because millions more dollars are at stake for each contestant,” said Randy Bernard, CEO of RFD-TV Events. “And the diversity at Cowtown Coliseum is unequaled. Fans get to watch performances by everyone from NFR qualifiers with dozens of world titles to phenomenal young kids to retired celebrities.”

During the Semi-Finals last year, the Stockyards fielded athletes of all ages and genders from 36 states, four Canadian provinces, Australia and Brazil. In fact, a 9-year-old cowgirl from Stephenville banked $44,279 and was then featured by ESPN SportsCenterUSA Today, and the Wall Street Journal as she tried to earn $1 million.

“There’s just no other way to win that much money at one event that’s open to the world,” said her father, Casey Chamberlain. “It’s by far the best thing that ever happened to rodeo, in my opinion.”

In addition, the event will feature a new American freestyle bullfighting contest. Each man is judged for 60 seconds while he tries to avoid an aggressive bull using extreme athleticism.

American Semi-Finals tickets are available for $40 apiece, or a $100 pass for all three weekend performances. To buy tickets, call Cowtown Coliseum at 888-Cowtown (269-8696) or visit AmericanRodeo.com.

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About RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Presented by Polaris RANGERTaking place at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium on Feb. 28, 2016, RFD-TV’s The American is the richest single-day event in the history of rodeo. With $2.5 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 10 athletes from the 2015 PRCA, WPRA and PBR world standings and pits them against underdogs who advance from the American Semi-Finals, held Feb. 17-21 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: www.americanrodeo.com and www.RFDTV.com.  Follow us on Twitter @RFDTVAMERICAN and find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RFDTVTheAMERICAN.


About RFD-TVRFD-TV is the flagship network for RMG. Launched in December 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. Top RFD-TV programming includes Market Day ReportRural Evening News,Rural America Live, Western Sports Weekly, top rodeo events such as , and award-winning musical entertainment such as The Marty Stuart ShowReno’s Old Time MusicThe Molly B Polka Party, and Larry’s Country Diner.