New Western performance industry player Teton Ridge now owns The American rodeo.
Teton Ridge founder and businessman Thomas Tull said in a statement the acquisition was the latest in a series of strategically planned moves to help elevate America’s iconic Western sports and Western culture to a greater level of prominence around the world.
“The American is a beloved event in the world of rodeo, a true showcase for our nation’s most treasured way of life and the sports that grew out of western culture,” Tull said in the statement. “No matter who you are, no matter where you grew up, at one time or another virtually every little boy or girl has aspired to be a cowboy or a cowgirl and that still holds true today. We want all those kids to dream of winning a gold buckle or a saddle, or a giant check on the dirt at The American and give everyone the opportunity to compete on a world stage for their chance to win big.”
The American represents the richest single-day event in all of western sports. Over the course of qualifier events across the country, competitors will be vying for what could be the biggest single-day paycheck of their careers. A true open competition in format, the iconic event brings together top professional rodeo athletes and honest, hardworking cowboys and cowgirls in a winner-take-all showdown, meant to crown the finest talent the world has to offer.
The American now boasts an unmatched total purse of more than $3 million, which includes a $100,000 check for the individual winners of each discipline and a $2 million bonus pot that includes a carry-over bonus of more than $1 million from the 2021 event that was not won. Each qualifier that makes it to the 2022 finals will be eligible for their disciplines $100,000 prize money and will also have their shot at the bonus millions.
In 2020, team roper Joseph Harrison won a $100,000 check aboard former cutting trainee Main Street Boon, a son of Peptoboonsmal and out of famed producer Playboys Ruby (by Freckles Playboy).
Teton Ridge is proud to announce that for the first time in the event’s history, women’s breakaway ropers will also be eligible for the $2 million-added bonus.
The American’s weekend at AT&T Stadium will usher in a new era in rodeo, with innovative staging designed to flow consecutively from discipline to discipline with no downtime in between. Beyond the weekend’s non-stop rodeo action, fans will be treated to live music, entertainment, and more, from some of the biggest names on the stage and screen.
“This transition is very exciting,” said Patrick Gottsch, founder and CEO of RFD-TV. “When we created The American our goal was to bring western sports to an elevated platform. The commitment that Thomas and his team at Teton Ridge have to broadening the reach of America’s classic western sports is going to take this event to new levels and bring new audiences to what is already a dedicated and passionate fan base.”
The American will be held on Sunday, March 6 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Ticketing information and on-sale date for The American and all additional fan events will be announced in October 2021.
In the Western performance horse industry, Teton Ridge has bought cutting, reining and reined cow horse bloodstock. This includes show and breeding horses, such as EquiStat Elite $1 Million Sire Smooth Talkin Style; NCHA Futurity Open Champion All Spice and NCHA Open Horse of the Year Twice In Santiago; as well as high-profile broodmares Sweet Abra and My Little Abra.