The American Dream Comes True for Three Qualifiers Who Split The Million Dollar Purse at RFD-TV’S The American presented by DISH
ARLINGTON, Texas – The home of the Dallas Cowboys became home to the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls Sunday, Feb. 25, as turf turned into dirt for the world’s richest one-day rodeo. RFD-TV’s The American, Presented by DISH payed-out $2 million dollars to the best athletes in PRCA, PBR and WPRA, and those who earned their spot as a qualifier, making the American dream come true for three athletes who advanced out of the semi-finals to split the million dollar purse.
Four-time PRCA world champion Kaycee Feild, six-time WNFR qualifier Matt Reeves and ERA champion Cort Scheer all three took home $433,333 checks to split the million dollar prize as competitors who advanced from the semi-finals. Invitees Taci Bettis, Junior Nogueira and Kaleb Driggers, reigning PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood, defending American Tie-Down Roping Champion Marty Yates earned $100,000 checks as the top contestants in their respective events.
Nogueira told the press he missed out on his late father’s Brazilian Hall of Fame induction ceremony for a chance to grab his American Dream. His father passed away doing what he loved most – roping.
BAREBACK RIDING: Kaycee Feild dominated the bareback riding with a score of 90.75. Feild rode C5 Rodeo Company’s Virgil, reigning bareback horse of the year, claiming a piece of the American’s million-dollar prize. Newlywed Albertan Orin Larsen scored an 88.5 on Frontier Rodeo Company’s Full Baggage. Steven Dent was 85 points to place third on Powder River Rodeo’s 2016 World Champion Bareback Horse Craig at Midnight. Mason Clements and Frontier’s Show Stopper were 82.5.
BARREL RACING: Invitee Taci Bettis and her horse Smash took $100,000 home to Round Top, Texas, after running a 14.845. Last year’s winners, Hailey Kinsel and horse Sister were second in the short-go with a 14.982. Ari-Anna Flynn, daughter of world champion bull rider, Denny Flynn, was third with a 15.238. Maryland futurity rider and A Cornerstone carried a 5 second penalty to be fourth with a 19.941 in the short-go.
STEER WRESTLING: Six-time WNFR qualifier Matt Reeves was a rapid 3.73 to win $433,000 from the qualifiers pool. 2017 PRCA World Champion Steer Wrestler Tyler Pearson finished four-hundredths of a second behind to place second with a 3.79. Dakota Eldridge was 4.12, placing third and Canadian Scott Guenthner was fourth with a 4.24.
SADDLE BRONC: ERA champion Cort Scheer came through the ranks of the qualifiers to ride four-time bronc of the year, Frontier’s Medicine Women to 89 points and a $433,333 payday. Scheer edged out last year’s winner, Cody DeMoss by .25 points. Clay Elliott and Powder River’s young NFR mare, Show Me Again were 83.75. Wyoming’s Brody Cress, finished fourth with 83.75. Heith DeMoss, who lost the tie-breaker to make the short go, helped him at the chute and was at his side when the score came in.
TIE-DOWN ROPING: Reigning American Tie-Down Roping Champion Marty Yates, becomes a two-time American champion, beating his own fastest time and The American’s record time. He heads home to Stephenville, Texas with a time of 6.38 and a check for $100,000. Texan Cory Solomon comes out of the American in the second spot with a time of 6.45. Cajun Marshall Leonard finishes at AT&T stadium in third place, stopping the clock at 7.11. America’s favorite tie-down roper places fourth on rodeo’s biggest stage with a time of 7.91.
TEAM ROPING: Junior Nogueira and Kaleb Driggers take home separate checks for $100,000, becoming the 2018 American Team Roping Champions. They stopped the clock with a time of 4.57. Chad Masters and Paul Eaves finished second with a time of 5.03 to win $25,000.
BULL RIDING: Dakota Rodeo’s More Big Bucks earned reigning PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood more big bucks at their rematch today. Lockwood rode him at the 2017 PBR World Finals to earn him the world title. Texan Cooper Davis was right behind him with 89.5 points on Show Nuff to win $25,000.
BAREBACK RIDING: Four-time PRCA world champion Kaycee Feild and Orin Larsen both scored 88.25 on J Bar J Pro Rodeo horses to split first and second. Nevada native Mason Clements place third in the go with an 86.50 on another of J Bar J’s world class bucking horses, Night Fist. Going into the shoot-out round in fourth place, Nebraskan Steven Dent was scored 86.25 points aboard the J Bar J stallion, Night Jacket.
BARREL RACING: 2017 American Barrel Racing Champion Hailey Kinsel and her horse, Sister, were back to defend their championship title, placing first in the long go with a time of 14.674. After, rubbing the second barrel, Maryland’s top futurity rider, Brandon Cullins set it back up to clock 14.764 seconds. Ari-Anna Flynn ran home to the third spot in the go, stopping the clock at 14.834. Taci Bettis raced to her spot in the short-go with a time of 14.874, leaving her fourth.
STEER WRESTLING: 2017 PRCA World Champion Ty Pearson was on the hunt for $100,000 dollars, as he advanced to the shoot-out with a 4.00. Qualifier Matt Reeves, a six-time WNFR qualifier, placed second in the long go with a 4.18. Canadian Scott Guenthner wrestled his way into the short-go in the third spot, with a time of 4.19. Dakota Eldridge set out to stay in contention for a big pay check, as he placed fourth in the long go, clocking in with a 4.39.
TEAM ROPING: Kaleb Driggers and 2016 PRCA All-Around Champion Junior Nogueira roped their steer in a time of 3.32, taking them to the lead in the long-go. Two-time world champion Chad Masters and his partner Paul Eaves stopped the clock at 3.54, advancing them to the shoot-out in second. Erich Rogers and Cory Petska had a solid run of 3.58, winning third in the round. Speed Williams spun a steer for Wesley Thorp, giving the team a time of 3.60. Thorp moved back to the short-go in fourth with Williams.
SADDLE BRONC: Reigning American Saddle Bronc Champion Cody DeMoss, came out of the long-go seeking to add another championship title to his lengthy résumé. DeMoss rode Dakota’s Rodeo Bartender to the first-place spot in the go, scoring an 87. Semi-finals champion Clay Elliott scored an 86.75, advancing to the shoot-out in second place. After his first horse stumbled, Cort Scheer’s re-ride horse took him to third place and a score of 84.5. Brody Cress won the tie breaker over Heith DeMoss for his spot in the shoot-out. Cress and DeMoss both scored an 84. The tie was broken by a fifth official, whose scorecard is reserved for resolving ties.
TIE-DOWN ROPING: Houston, Texas, cowboy and five-time WNFR qualifier Cory Solomon won the long-go with a 6.74. Fan favorite Tuf Cooper, had his calf roped and tied in 6.93 seconds placing him second. Qualifier Marshall Leonard was a 6.96 in the first round at AT&T Stadium, placing third. Marty Yates made it back to the short go in the fourth spot with a time of 7.23.
BULL RIDING: 2016 PBR World Champion Cooper Davis took the lead with an 89.50 followed by 2017 PBR World Champion Jess Lockwood who rode for 88.50 points Texas native Stormy Wing who rode for 87 points. Two-time PBR World Champion J.B. Mauney made it back to the short-go with an 84.25 ride.
As dirt is loaded out and the turf is rolled back for the famed Dallas Cowboys to chase Super Bowl dreams, rodeo contestants alike await for their chance to chase their American Dream at the 2019 RFD-TV’s The American.
–RFD-TV’s The American
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the June 19, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News