RFD-TV’s 2019 The American Rodeo Finals concluded Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington capping the event’s sixth year.
“Putting up two million dollars in two days is very exciting for The American, and I want to thank our new champions for being great champions and showing future athletes how it’s done.” said Randy Bernard, CEO of Rural Media Group, parent of RFD-TV.
In the bareback riding, Orin Larsen not only got his first $100,000 win at The American, but he did so while setting the new arena record with a 91-point ride. He finished first ahead of four-time world champion Kaycee Feild who earned 88 points in the shootout round. Tilden Hooper and Steven Dent finished third and fourth with 87.75 points and 87 points respectively.
When RFD-TV created The Junior American and added breakaway roping to The American in 2019, they didn’t intend on having the same champion for both. Madison Outhier finished in the top two of The Junior American, earning her a spot at AT&T Stadium where she won the shootout round, earning her $110,000 for the weekend. The high school sophomore rode her home bred and trained horse to success with a time of 2.29 seconds, and expressed her gratitude for being able to compete in breakaway on a large stage. Finishing second and taking home $25,000 is the only other roper who received a time in the breakaway, Taylor Munsell. Jackie Crawford and Kelsie Chace also competed in the shootout round.
Coleman Proctor celebrated with a smile and fist pump after he finished his run with partner Ryan Motes in the short go of the team roping. The team finished second behind Luke Brown and Paul Eaves, but their time of 4.24 in the shootout round made them the first champions to take their share of the million dollar payout. Although they are no strangers to success, each having qualified four times to the National Finals Rodeo, they qualified through the Semi-Finals and dominated over the invited teams. Brothers Brady and Riley Minor took second place in the shootout round with a time of 4.75.
Ty Erickson repeated his 2016 win at The American this year. His momentum from winning the short go of in 4.33 seconds carried him into the shootout round, where he ran down his steer and $100,000 with an even faster time of 4.20 seconds. The American’s 2014 champion Hunter Cure finished second in both rounds and took home $25,000 with 4.30 second run. Stephen Culling, the only steer wrestler from the Semi-Finals, finished third with 4.61 and Scott Guenthner came in fourth.
As Ryder Wright said while waiting for the final results of the saddle bronc shootout round, no matter the outcome, the win was coming back to Utah. The 2017 PRCA world champion was referring to whether he or his father Cody Wright, the last rider of the shootout round, would take the win. Ryder won the short go with a score of 90.25 and came back to ride to a score of 88.5 in the shootout round, securing his win and $100,000. Second and third place both went to Semi-Finals qualifiers Jake Watson and Mitch Pollock. Fourth went to the exemption rider, Cody Wright, who rode his first bronc in 14 months in the long go.
Ryle Smith won the short go of the tie down roping with an aggregate time of 15.65 but fell short to Caleb Smidt in the shootout round. The 2018 PRCA world champion flanked and tied his calf in 6.97 seconds to win $100,000 and his first American championship. Although Rhen Richard fell short in the shootout round of the team roping just shortly before, he earned second place and $25,000 with a time of 7.35 in the tie down. With a 7.47 second run, Ty Harris took third place and Ryle Smith finished fourth.
When Hailey Kinsel rocked the third barrel, every fan’s heart dropped. When it reset without falling, all of AT&T Stadium erupted. The 2018 world champion Kinsel continues to be unstoppable. She and her partner SISTER won The American for a second time, finishing the shootout round with a time of 14.217. In 2016 she split the million and this year she won $100,000. Coming in second was Kylie Weast with a time of 14.462. Craig Brooks, the only Semi-Finals qualifier and male rider, won the short go and ran to third place in the shootout round in 15.361 seconds. Amberleigh Moore finished fourth.
The third and final champion eligible for the million dollar payout came from the last event of the night, bull riding. Joao Ricardo Vieira qualified through the Semi-Finals and earned a score of 87 points.
Qualifying in the bareback were Orin Larsen, Tilden Hooper, Kaycee Feild and Steven Dent. In breakaway roping was Kelcie Chace, Jackie Crawford, Madison Outhier and Taylor Munsell. In the Team Roping qualifiers included Luke Brown and Paul Eaves, Coleman Proctor and Ryan Motes, Aaron Tsinigine and Trey Yates, and Riley Minor and Brady Minor. Steer Wrestling qualifiers were Ty Erickson, Hunter Cure, Scott Guenthner and Stephen Culling. Qualifying in the Saddle Bronc was Ryder Wright, Jake Watson, Mitch Pollock and Cody Wright. Tie down roping qualifiers included Ryle Smith, Caleb Smidt, Rhen Richard and Ty Harris. Qualifying in Barrel racing were Craig Brooks, Hailey Kinsel, Kylie Weast and Amberleigh Moore. In the bull riding, three athletes qualified for the shootout round and these were Cody Teel, Joao Ricardo Vieria and Kaique Pacheco.
With $2.35 million on the line, The American invites the top athletes from the 2018 PRCA, WPRA and PBR world standings and puts them against everyday cowboys and cowgirls who advance from the American Semi-Finals. 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.