The American Contender Tournament qualifying events will run July 2022 through February 2023, all leading to the richest single-day rodeo in Arlington, Texas, on March 11, 2023

ARLINGTON, TEXAS, July 6, 2022 — To further advance the western sports industry and bring increased opportunities for athletes to compete in cities across the country, Teton Ridge has announced a newly revised qualification system for The American Rodeo 2023, the richest single-day event in western sports. 

The new tournament-style format, dubbed The American Contender Tournament, features increased prize money as athletes make their way through the competition structure and delivers more opportunities for athletes to advance toward the richest single-day in rodeo. The new format is supposed to make it easier for fans at home to follow their favorite athletes on their path to The American Rodeo 2023.

“Since Teton Ridge acquired The American Rodeo last year, our ambition has been to elevate western sports to a national stage,” stated Joe Loverro, president of Teton Ridge Sports. “The revitalized American Contender Tournament is a first step towards that long-term goal.” 

Made up of multiple qualifying rounds dedicated to each of the eight disciplines of rodeo, the newly launched format will host more than 50 events in cities coast to coast, beginning in July 2022 through February 2023. Rodeo athletes will have the opportunity to earn a spot at The American Rodeo by going through a clearly defined, highly competitive tournament-style series of qualifiers that culminates at the Contender Tournament Finals in Texas. Teton Ridge has added guaranteed prize money to regional semifinals and regional finals upwards of $900,000 which takes the total prize money opportunity to nearly $6 million.

The New American Rodeo Format  

Round 1: The American Contender Tournament, consisting of three regions (East, Central and West) and hosting up to 54 qualifying events, is open to athletes of all levels and ages. The expanded selection of contender events will welcome thousands of new and existing athletes to compete for their chance to advance to the Regional Semi-Finals.

Round 2: The American Contender Tournament Regional Semifinals features up to 100 top athletes in each discipline joining the automatically seeded athletes from the 2022 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world standings, who will compete for the opportunity to advance to the Regional Finals.

Round 3: The American Contender Tournament Regional Finals, which will be three nationally televised events, will host the top 10 athletes advancing from the Semifinals plus two athletes who have earned a spot through the Redemption Round, a last-chance qualifier after a regional Semi-Finals.  

Round 4: The American Contender Tournament Finals kicks off The American Rodeo week in Texas with nationally broadcast events, bringing the top four athletes from each Regional Finals plus one athlete advancing through the Contender Tournament Wild Card event.

The American Rodeo is where all roads ultimately lead to March 11, 2023, as the chase for the $1 million bonus culminates. The nationally broadcast event will turn all eyes toward Texas as the Top Five Contender Champions go head-to-head with the top five in the world standings for a high-stakes showdown. 

Article courtesy Teton Ridge Sports and The American Rodeo. For more information, please visit or @TheAmerican.TR on Instagram @TheAmericanTR on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about Teton Ridge, please visit or @tetonridge on Instagram @tetonridgeusa on Facebook.


Blanche Schaefer is an avid barrel racer and managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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