Semi-Finals crowns champs, sends qualifiers to AT&T Stadium for RFD-TV's The American

   RFD-TV News Photos by Kent Soule

FORT WORTH, Feb. 21, 2016 – On Sunday, almost 50 rising stars, retired veterans and weekend warriors secured the opportunity to rope and ride for $1 million next weekend. Their entry into the world’s richest one-day rodeo on Feb. 28 was earned courtesy of their top finish at The American Semi-Finals Rodeo, held Feb. 17-21 at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.

These winners not only bested a field of more than 500 to earn a half-million dollars, but they also won the right to battle the best rodeo athletes in the world at AT&T Stadium on Feb. 28 during RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER. There in Arlington, Texas, they’ll not only compete for a $1 million purse, but also the $1 million bonus reserved only for any "underdog” qualifier who beats the best in the business.

On Sunday, Steven Dent of Mullen, Neb., qualified for The American in both bareback riding and saddle bronc riding. That means that for the first time, the “king of the cowboys” Trevor Brazile will face a two-event challenger in the all-around contest at The American.

Steven Dent

Also, The American is the only lucrative professional rodeo open to any athlete of any age or gender. On Sunday, for the first time, two of the top 10 finishers in the traditionally female rodeo event of barrel racing are male. Also, the barrel racing field includes a grandmother and a 13-year-old girl, all eligible to win $1 million.

The Semi-Finals itself is one of the top-10 richest rodeos in America. In team roping, Clay Smith of Broken Bow, Neb., and Paul Eaves of Lonedell, Mo., had barely qualified for the sudden-death Shootout Round in 10th place, but then stopped the clock in 4.81 seconds to win the round and leave Fort Worth with $27,268.

Clay Smith & Paul Eaves

“We were just blessed to make it back today,” said Smith. “Yesterday we practiced, and today I got a better start. Paul just cleaned it up. That’s why he’s a 10 heeler.”

In tie-down roping, veteran Justin Maass came out on top to earn $19,226 after the early favorite in Fort Worth – six-time world champ Cody Ohl – missed in the finals.

Cody Ohl

“This is the biggest payday I’ve had in a long while,” said Maass. “For an 18-year semi-retired veteran to have this chance along with 13-year-old kids, this is the best thing in the world.”

Dustin Angell

Rodeo veteran Todd Suhn of Hermosa, S.D., won the steer wrestling and $23,064, while barrel racers Ivy Conrado of Hudson, Colo., and Dustin Angell of St. Gabriel, La., tied for the win in their event. Conrado earned $39,724 and Angell took home $36,041. Jake Vold of Ponoka, Alberta, in bareback riding, Clay Elliott of Nanton, Alberta, in saddle bronc riding and Mason Lowe of Exeter, Mo., in bull riding were other Semi-Finals champions.

Todd Suhn

  

Tickets for RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER, on Feb. 28 and the PBR’s Iron Cowboy on Feb. 27 start at $20 and are available at the AT&T Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations and at americanrodeo.com
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Following are final results from The Semi-Finals of RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN on Feb. 21:


Bareback Riding
First Round:
  1. Taylor Price, 81.75; 2. Casey Colletti, 81.50; 3. Ty Breuer, 79.5; 4. Tyler Nelson, 79; 5. Dylan Wahlert, 78.75; 6. Steven Dent, 78.5; 7. Jake Vold, 78.25; 8. Ethan Crouch, 78; 9. RC Landingham, 77.75; 10. Buck Lunak, 77. Second Round:  1. Jake Vold, 84.75 on Sourdough; 2. Tyler Nelson, 80; 3. Steven Dent, 80.25; 4. RC Landingham, 78;  5. Ty Breuer, 76.75; 5. Aggregate/American Qualifiers  1. Jake Vold, 163 points on two, $2,200; 2. Tyler Nelson, 159, $1,650; 3. Steven Dent, 158.75; $1,100; 4. Ty Breuer, 156.25, $550; 5. RC Landingham, 155.75.


Steer Wrestling
Slack First Round:
 1. Cody Harmon, 3.46, $4,185; 2. Shayde Etherton, 3.53, $2,930; 3. Todd Suhn, 3.54, $1,953; 4. Nick Guy, 3.65, $1,395; 5. Olin Hannum, 3.69, $1,116; 6. Myles Neighbors, 3.83, $837. Slack Second Round:  1. Jason Thomas, 3.64, $4,185; 2. Jacob Talley, 3.75, $2,930; 3/4. JD Struxness/Riley Duvall, 3.82 each, $1,674; 5. Tyler Pearson, 3.84, $1,116. Friday Performance: 1. Cole Edge, 3.82 seconds, $1,860; 2. Cody Cassidy, 4.07, $1,395; 3. Cody Kroul, 4.33, $930; 4. Todd Suhn, 4.93, $465. Saturday Performance:  1. Olin Hannum, 3.93, $1,860; 2. Bray Armes, 4.17, $1,395; 3. Justin Morehouse, 5.28, $930; 4. Justin Shaffer, 5.33, $465. ShootOut Round (Top 6 are American Qualifiers):  1. Todd Suhn, 4.27, $20,646; 2. Jacob Burks, 4.48, $13,392; 3. Bray Armes, 4.75, $6,138; 4. Justin Shaffer, 4.76, $3,906; 5. Olin Hannum, 5.03, $3,348; 6. Cody Cassidy, 5.08, $2,790; 7. Cole Edge, 5.25, $2,232; 8. Cody Kroul, 14.73, $1,674; 9. Justin Morehouse, 14.94, $1,116; 10. Jacob Talley, no time, $558.


Team Roping

Slack First Round:  1. Clayton VanAken/Cullen Teller, 4.56, $5,838; 2. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 4.89, $3,698; 3. Shane Durbin/Michael Jones, 4.96, $2,530; 4. Aaron Macy/Logan Medlin, 5.00, $2,140; 5. Rance Gantt/Cody Hogan, 5.03, $1,751; 6. Cody Snow/Dugan Kelly, 5.04, $1,557; Slack Second Round:  1. Kelsey Parchman/Levi Tyan, 4.42, $ 5,838; 2. Travis Tryan/Jhett Johnson, 4.45, $3,698; 3. David Key/Travis Woodard, 4.65, $2,530; 4. Joshua Torres/Joel Bach, 4.69, $2,140; 5. Matt Sherwood/Will Woodfin, 4.70, $1,751; 6. Rance Gantt/Cody Hogan, 5.03, $1,557; Two-Head Average:  1. Rance Gantt/Cody Hogan, 9.74 seconds, $5,780; 2. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 10.19, $3,854; 3. Travis Tryan/Jhett Johnson, 10.20, $2,978; 4. Tee Woolman/Ty Arnold, 10.29, $2,102; 5. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 10.49, $1,576; 6. Tyler Wade/Allen Bach, 10.91, $1,226. ShootOut Round (Top 5 are American Qualifiers):  1. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 4.81, $21,994; 2. Andrew Ward/Jace Harris, 4.91, $15,396; 3. Blaine Vick/Dakota Kirchenschlager; 5.02, $10,264; 4. Manny Egusquiza/Daniel Braman, 5.47, $7,331; 5. David Key/Dugan Kelly, 9.36, $5,865; 6. Zachary Small/Wesley Thorp, 9.43, $4,399; 7. Justin Davis/Trey Johnson, 9.48, $3,666; 8. Clint Summers/Kaleb Driggers, 11.73, $2,199; 9. Cory Smothers/Ezzio Jaquez, no time, $1,100; 10. Charly Crawford/Will Woodfin, no time, $1,100.


Tie-Down Roping

Slack First Round:  1. Cole Bailey, 7.28 seconds, $3,729; 2. Jake Pratt, 7.43, $2,611; 3. Cody Ohl, 7.56, $1,740; 4. Tim Pharr, 7.66, $1,243; 5. Catfish Brown, 7.70, $995; 6. Cory Solomon, 7.71, $746; Slack Second Round:  1. Doug Pharr, 7.27, $3,729; 2. Westyn Hughes, 7.33, $2,611; 3. Cody Ohl, 7.57, $1,740; 4. Clint Singleton, 7.58, $1,243; 5. Cody McCartney, 7.61, $995; 6. Ace Slone, 7.63, $746. Friday Performance:  1. Cody Ohl, 7.28 seconds, $1,657; 2. Cooper Matthews, 7.72, $1,243; 3. Cory Solomon, 7.86, $829; 4. Justin Maass, 7.88, $414. Saturday Performance:  1. Randall Carlisle, 7.57, $1,657; 2. Trent Creager, 8.15, $1,243; 3. John Douch, 8.16, $829; 4. Justin Maass, 8.47, $414. ShootOut Round/American Qualifiers:  1. Justin Maass, 7.99, $18,398; 2. Taylor Santos, 8.21, $11,934; 3. Cooper Matthews, 8.60, $5,470; 4. Cory Solomon, 8.67, $3,481; 5. Randall Carlisle, 9.00, $2,983; 6. Braxton Laughlin, 18.45, $2,486; 7. John Douch, Trent Creager, Justin Maass, and Cody Ohl, no time, $1,243 each.


Saddle Bronc Riding

First Round: 1. Bradley Harter, 79.5; 2. Steven Dent, 78.25; 3. Erik Wolford, 76.75; 4. Cole Elsehere, 76.50; 5. Louie Brunson, 76.25; 6. Joey Sonnier, 75.50; 7. Chuck Schmidt, 74; 8. Clay Elliott, 74; 9. Jeremy Meeks, 73.75; 10. Kobyn Williams, 73.50. Second Round:  1. Clay Elliott, 78.5 points; 2. Wyatt Casper, 78.25, $; 3. Jeremy Meeks, 76; Steven Dent, 74.25; 5. Joey Sonnier, 72.5; 6. Cole Elshere 69.25; Average/American Qualifiers:  1/2 (tie), Steven Dent and Clay Elliott, 152.5 points each, $2,188 each; 3. Wyatt Casper, 152, $1,250; 4. Jeremy Meeks 149.75, $625, 5. Joey Sonnier, 148.


Barrel Racing

Slack First Round:  1. Sabrina Ketcham, 13.531, $8,294; 2. Darla Corff, 13.882, $7,318; 3. Sierra Spratt, 13.922, $6,342; 4. Jana Griemsman, 13.925, $5,367; 5. Ashley Schafer, 13.938, $4,391; 6. Rylee Hardin, 13.951, $3,903; 7/8. Jessica Dunbar/Ivy Conrado, 13.959 each, $3,171 each; 9. 13.959, $3,171; 10. Christine Laughlin, 13.964, $2,439; 11. Kelsey Lutjen, 13.991, $1,952; 12. Nicole Riggle, 13.999, $1,464; 13. Tayla Moeykens, 14.018, $976. Saturday Performance:  1. Jessica Dunbar, 13.878, $512; 2. Ashley Schafer, 13.956, $398; 3. Mary Smothers, 13.976, $228. Friday Performance:  1. Ivy Conrado, 13.829, $512; 2. Derek Diedrich, 13.975, $398; 3. Lynette Brodoway, 14.011, $228. Saturday Performance: 1. Jessica Dunbar, 13.878, $512; 2. Ashley Schafer, 13.956, $398; 3. Mary Smothers, 13.976, $228. Final Round/American Qualifiers; 1/2. Ivy Conrado and Dustin Angelle, 13.829 each, $36,041 each; 3. Jessica Dunbar, 13.878, $17,402; 4. McKenzie Morgan, 13.927, $10,245; 5. Kelli Barichello, 13.939, $5,692; 6. Rylee Jo Dick, 3.951, $1,000; 7. Ashley Schafer, 13.956, $1,000; 8. Derek Diedrich, 13.975, $1,000; 9. Mary Smothers, 13.976, $1,000; 10. Sabrina Ketcham, 14.007, $1,000.


Bull Riding

Aggregate/American Qualifiers:  1. Mason Lowe, 170.25 points on two bulls, $1,600; 2. Guilherme Marchi, 161.75, $1,200; 3. Wallace de Oliveira, 86.75 on one bull, $800; 4. Pistol Robinson, 85.25, $4400; 5. Robson Palermo, 84.5.

Mason Lowe


About RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Presented by Polaris RANGERTaking place at 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-TV:

RFD-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 NewsRural 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.