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FRFD-TV’s The American Rodeo is an annual event that occurs at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The American is now “the world’s richest weekend in Western Sports” and will pay out $2.35 million through a series of qualifiers, The Semifinals, and the final event, RFD-TV’s The American. The event unites the top athletes in the world from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and pits them against underdogs who advance from The American Semifinals to battle for the biggest single paycheck of their lives.

Every year, the top 10 in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world standings are invited to compete in Arlington for their shot at a $50,000 win—since they are invited contestants, they are not eligible to share in the $1 million bonus for qualifiers. Part of the intrigue of The American is the chance to see the best in the world compete against “unknowns” in the sport. The Semifinals is sure to produce an exciting horserace, from which those sometimes lesser known athletes will travel up the road to Arlington to compete against the top 10 in the world.

This year, it’s even more exciting to see some first-time invitees and some first-time attendees. Take a closer look at the first-time invitees from the WPRA.

First-Time Attendees:

Jessica Routier

Jessica Routier finished the 2018 WPRA season as the reserve world champion after making a big move from eighth in the world standings going into the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to finishing as the No. 2 cowgirl. She earned $153,000 at the NFR. Although Routier has qualified to The American Semifinals, 2019 will mark her first trip to AT&T Stadium for The American.

  • Hometown: Buffalo, South Dakota
  • Horses: Fiery Miss West (“Missy”), 7-year-old mare, Firewater Frenchman x Frenchmans Bo Dashus x Royal Quick Dash
  • WPRA 2018 Season Earnings: $251,704.23
  • 2018 WPRA Rodeo Count: 57
  • NFR Qualifications: 1 (2018)
  • *Equi-Stat Lifetime Earnings: $384,376
  • Recent Career Highlights: 2018 WPRA Reserve World Champion, 2018 Phillipsburg Pro Rodeo Champion, 2018 Clear Lake Pro Rodeo Champion, 2018 Hugo Pro Rodeo Champion, third place and third-highest money earner at 2018 Calgary Stampede with $25,500, third at 2018 Ponoka Stampede, won $12,057 over 2018 Fourth of July run, 2017 and 2010 Badlands Circuit Champion, Fiery Miss West named 2017 Badlands Circuit Horse of the Year, RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals qualifier, multiple Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo qualifier, 2003 College National Finals Rodeo Champion, multiple pro rodeo, open and futurity wins

Jessie Telford

Jessica (Jessie) Telford moved from No. 14 in the 2018 WPRA world standings to No. 5 after the NFR, securing herself a bid to The American. She garnered $113,230 from the 2018 NFR. 2019 will be her first trip to The American.

  • Hometown: Caldwell, Idaho
  • Horses: Famous Cool Whip (“Cool Whip”), 8-year-old gelding, Dash Ta Fame x Had A Kanita x Docs Rocky Top; Shu Fire, 9-year-old mare, Dash Of Royal Gold x Fire Water Flyer x Fire Water Flit
  • WPRA Season Earnings: $201,572.72
  • 2018 WPRA Rodeo Count: 80
  • NFR Qualifications: 1 (2018)
  • *Equi-Stat Lifetime Earnings: $390,847
  • Recent Career Highlights: Finished fifth in the 2018 WPRA world standings, 2018 San Bernardino Pro Rodeo Champion, 2018 Poway Pro Rodeo and Mona Pro Rodeo Reserve Champion, 2018 Logan Pro Rodeo Champion, 2018 Hermiston Pro Rodeo Reserve Champion, 2018 Oakley City Pro Rodeo Champion, 2018 Sisters Pro Rodeo Reserve Champion, 2018 Redding Pro Rodeo Co-Reserve Champion, 2018 San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo money earner, won $11,181 over 2018 Fourth of July run, 2017 Vernal Pro Rodeo Champion, Wilderness Circuit Finals qualifier, multiple pro rodeo and futurity wins

First-Time Invitees:

Kylie Weast

Kylie Weast secured her invitation to The American by finishing No. 10 in the 2018 WPRA world standings. She picked up $71,769 at the NFR and ran the fastest time of the entire NFR during Round 10, a 13.37. Although Weast has ran her mare Hell On The Red down the alley in AT&T Stadium last year, 2019 marks her first trip through the invitation process.

  • Hometown: Comanche, Oklahoma
  • Horses: Hell On The Red (“Reddy”), 7-year-old mare, JL Dash Ta Heaven x Designer Ruby x Designer Red; Namgis D 15 (“Wolfie”), 12-year-old gelding, Bucks Hancock Dude x Central Station x First Down Dash
  • WPRA Season Earnings: $173,484.23
  • 2018 WPRA Rodeo Count: 60
  • NFR Qualifications: 1 (2018)
  • *Equi-Stat Lifetime Earnings: $547,027
  • Recent Career Highlights: Finished 10th in the 2018 WPRA world standings, 2018 Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo Champion, Prescott Pro Rodeo Reserve Champion, 2018 National Western Stock Show Rodeo (Denver) Reserve Champion and second-round winner, 2018 RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo qualifier, fifth place 2018 RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals, 2017 WPRA World Finals Futurity Champion, multiple futurity, open and pro rodeo wins

Carman Pozzobon

Carman Pozzobon secured her spot for The American by finishing the 2018 season at No. 4 in the 2018 WPRA world standings. She jumped from No. 15 in the world prior to the Finals to the No. 4 position after earning $117,884 at the Finals. Pozzobon also earned the coveted title of NFR Aggregate Champion. Pozzobon qualified for The American in 2017, however 2019 marks the first year to earn her bid through the invitation process.

  • Hometown: Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada
  • Horses: Ripn Lady (“Ripp”), 9-year-old mare, Frenchs Hula Guy x Bijou Betali x Fire Water Flit
  • WPRA Season Earnings: $204,831.21
  • 2018 WPRA Rodeo Count: 58
  • NFR Qualifications: 1 (2018)
  • *Equi-Stat Lifetime Earnings: $489,683
  • Recent Career Highlights: 2018 NFR Aggregate Champion, won more than $18,000 at 2018 Calgary Stampede, won $11,263 over 2018 Fourth of July run, 2018 Strathmore Stampede Champion, 2018 Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo final go-round winner, 2018 Redmond Pro Rodeo Reserve Champion, 2018 Airdrie Pro Rodeo Champion, 2018 Williams Lake Pro Rodeo Champion, 2018 Sundre Pro Rodeo Champion, 2017 Ponoka Stampede Champion, Ripn Lady named 2017 Canadian Barrel Horse of the Year, 2017 Canadian Barrel Racing Champion, RFD-TV’s The American qualifier, multiple pro rodeo, futurity and open wins

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Author

Kailey Sullins is managing editor of Barrel Horse News, and an avid barrel racer and breakaway roper. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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