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Craig Brooks and Grandiose Guy win Performance Two of The American Semifinals. Photo by Kenneth Springer.

February 28, 2019, Fort Worth, Texas, Cowtown Coliseum — For the second consecutive year, Craig Brooks and Grandiose Guy outran the competition in Performance Two of RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals. The Eastanolle, Georgia, horse trainer and 2013 gelding by BHR Frenchies Socks and out of For The Fame by Dash Ta Fame clocked a 14.104 in a run Brooks says got a little dicey. “He actually squeezed me a little on the second and third, so I was just tickled to get around them, but I guess it was fast,” Brooks chuckled. “He got a little by his first, but that’s typically how he’ll do sometimes, but he comes back so hard.” In 2018, Brooks and the young “Mater” made it all the way to AT&T Stadium and finished seventh in the long round. Brooks has adopted a go-with-the-flow attitude for this year. “I just roll with it and try not…

Sidelined with a broken ankle for several weeks in the spring, Craig Brooks overcame the hurdle to win his first big futurity back—the Lucky Dog Productions Futurity/Breeders Challenge qualifier in May in Memphis, Tennessee. Fessler Photo

After breaking his ankle when a horse fell down with him, futurity trainer Craig Brooks got accustomed to life on the couch for a few weeks.

Jim Warner and 2016 gelding Jess The Way You Are (French Streakin Jess x Sadie Hawkins Vision x Dash Ta Fame) clocked the fastest time of the weekend to win Friday’s Open and $2,357 at the Bring N the Heat Barrel Race in Clemson, South Carolina. Photo by 555 Photography

Bring N the Heat Barrel Race at T Ed Garrison Livestock Arena brought tough competition to Clemson, South Carolina, from June 24-25.

Hailey Kinsel and DM Sissy Hayday win their second RFD-TV’s The American barrel racing championship. BHN Photo by Kailey Sullins

March 2-3, 2019—AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas — The sixth annual RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo culminated inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, over the course of the two-day event with yet another historic rodeo. Fans witnessed $2 million paid out and, for the first time at The American, a breakaway roping champion crowned. “The best part of The American every year is the athletes,” Rural Media Group CEO Randy Bernard said in a press conference following the final round. “To see how wholesome, appreciative and humble they are is special, and we need more athletes like them.” In the barrel racing, Hailey Kinsel and the unstoppable DM Sissy Hayday rocked the house, turning in a 14.217 to take home the championship in the clean-slate shootout round March 3. The 2017 RFD-TV’s The American champion and 2018 Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer guided her flashy palomino “Sister” to three stellar runs…

Acey Pinkston and Laico Coronoa won RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals. Photo by Kenneth Springer

March 1, 2019, Fort Worth, Texas, Cowtown Coliseum — By the end of the fourth and final performance of RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals, Acey Pinkston’s 13.851 stood at not only the top of the round, but the top of the incredibly tough week of Semifinals perfs. “It was amazing; just smooth,” Pinkston said. “She gives 110 percent every time she goes into that alleyway.” The Stephenville, Texas, teen and her 13-year-old mare Laico Corona (Streak Laico Bird x Coronas Lil Snob x Corona Cartel) ran second on the ground and set a fast pace. Brandon Cullins and the Semifinals arena-record holder A Cornerstone came close with a 13.921, but Pinkston’s time held steady. Pinkston says she took a laid-back approach to the round and plans to keep the same mindset for her run March 2 in AT&T Stadium at The American Rodeo. “Just be smooth, because it’s all fun starting now…

Kay Blandford and KB Angel Ta Fame top the Semifinals Slack Round with a 13.874. Photo by Kenneth Springer

February 27, 2019, Fort Worth, Texas, Cowtown Coliseum — Kay Blandford topped the ultra-tough field at RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals Slack Round with an impressive time of 13.874 aboard KB Angel Ta Fame, who’s by Dash Ta Fame and out of Talents Dark Angel, to bank $9,850 and win a bid to the semifinals performance rounds. The top 35 from the Slack Round, plus the top three from the Buy Back Round and top two contestants from the Jr. American advanced to the Semifinals performance rounds. The Jr. American contestants will be determined after the event concludes at The Patriot on March 1. Those two will then compete in The American Semifinals performance No. 4 on Friday evening at Cowtown Coliseum. From there the total field of 41 Semifinals qualifiers will be narrowed down to the top 10 to move on to RFD-TV’s The American at AT&T Stadium where they will…