Underdogs steal the show at The American, the world’s richest one-day rodeo.
By Ross Hecox
In its second year, The American proved that it continues to be a star-studded rodeo of opportunity for those not ranked among the sport’s elite. Taylor Price and Reese Riemer split the $1 million bonus for contestants who qualified for The American and won one of its seven events. The RFD-TV event, presented by Polaris Ranger, was held March 1 in Arlington, Texas.
Neither Price, who won the bareback riding, nor Riemer, who captured the tie-down roping title, were ranked nationally in the top 10 of their respective event. So rather than receiving an invitation to The American, they each paid a $500 entry fee to compete and qualify via the American Semi-Finals. After winning their event and also earning their piece of the $1 million underdog pool, each took home $600,000.
Price, of Huntsville, Texas, won the bareback short go with a score of 89 points.
“I’m still just blown away,” Price told reporters. “This is the coolest rodeo I’ve ever been to! I was too broke, so my parents had to pay my entry fees to the Semi-Finals. This takes away a lot of the financial troubles I’ve had.”
Riemer, of Stinnett, Texas, won the tie-down roping after recording a time of 7.59 seconds. K.C. Jones of Decatur, Texas, won the steer wrestling with a time of 4.19 seconds. Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, South Dakota, completed her pattern in 14.726 seconds and captured the barrel racing title, as she did last year.
Kaleb Driggers of Albany, Georgia, and Travis Graves of Jay, Oklahoma, also successfully defended their title, marking the fastest team roping time (4.52 seconds). Yet another repeat champion, Wade Sundell of Coleman, Oklahoma, topped the saddle bronc riding with a 90.75-point ride. Finally, Silvano Alves of Pilar Do Sul, Brazil, won the bull riding with a score of 88.25.