FORT WORTH, Texas – Before the three performances of The American Semi-Finals begin Wednesday night, a field of more than 450 was whittled down to 90 contestants. The top 30 in barrel racing and 20 in team roping and steer wrestling are one step closer to Sunday’s RFD-TV’s The American presented by Polaris RANGER and a chance to earn a $1 million bonus.
Preliminary rounds of the semi-finals received a big boost this year when RFD-TV added half a million dollars to the purse. That increased the total payoff to nearly $1 million and spread the paychecks to more semi-finals contestants.
The biggest money winner in the preliminary rounds was barrel racer, Brianna Trepanier of Stephenville who won more than $1,000 per second – taking home $13,876 for her time of 13.468 seconds. The top 40 finishers of the 178 semi-finalists earned a paycheck. First through 20th earned a percentage of the $114,000 purse while 21st through 40th each earned $750.
“Now that we’re on the same page in a team sense, she is pretty easy to ride,” Trepnier said of her seven-year-old mare called “Quill.” “She is a free runner and it took a while to get with her, but I get along great with her now. We’re on a roll.”
The racers with the 30 fastest times will compete again at Cowtown Coliseum with 10 different individuals running Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.
Team ropers earned a share of the $109,500 prize money in each of two rounds and for fastest total time. The biggest money winners of the 172 participants were Stephenville cowboys Charley Crawford and Will Woodfin. They each won $8,308 after placing seventh in round one, fourth in round two and first overall with a total time of 10.36.
Crawford earned two slots in the performances. He and Woodfin rope Wednesday night and he teams with Oklahoman Joe Harrison on Thursday. Two other ropers – heelers Wesley Thorp of Throckmorton and Brady Norman of Springer, Oklahoma – also earned two semi-finals slots.
The 20 teams with the fastest total times will compete Wednesday and Thursday night. The ten fastest times from those nights rope again Friday night. Those with the five fastest times Friday night will advance to The American at AT&T Stadium on Sunday.
Crawford missed his final steer at last year’s semis and is looking forward to two chances at redemption. “We were the final team and just needed a clean run,” he said. “I want some overs, I want ‘em bad.”
2016 National Finals Rodeo cowboy, Riley Duvall of Checotah, Oklahoma was the high money winner in steer wrestling. He won $10,118 after placing second in round one with 4.06 seconds, followed by a first-place finish of 3.56 seconds in round two. Steer wrestlers won $54,970 in the preliminary rounds. Duvall heads the list of 20 steer wrestlers who will compete on Wednesday and Thursday night with the top 10 advancing to Friday night’s performance. The top five finishers Friday night will earn the chance to compete at AT&T Stadium.
Two more groups of qualifiers in calf roping and bull riding had not been determined at press time.
The American Semi-Finals runs Wednesday through Friday with nightly performances at 7:30 p.m. The Wall That Heals, the half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is a cornerstone of the FanZone and will be open 24 hours a day until 3 p.m. Saturday. The FanZone will feature live music, food trucks, beer vendors and a fashion show and will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tickets for the semi-finals start at $10 and are available at Cowtown Coliseum. Ticket for The American in Arlington start at $20 and are available through Ticketmaster.
The following are results after preliminary rounds of competition at RFD-TV’s The American Semi-Finals rodeo.
Barrel Racing: 1, Brianna Trepanier, Stephenville, Texas, 13.768 seconds, $13,876. 2, Abby Penson, Blossom, Texas, 13.868, $10,903. 3, Kelsey Lutjen, Casa Grande, Ariz., 13.922, $8,920. 4, Callahan Crossley, Hermiston, Ore., 13.928, $7,632. 5, (tie) Kellie Collier, Hereford, Texas, and Jessica Leach, Rockville, Neb. 13.942 $6,690. 7, Amy Jo Farella, Cheyenne, Wyo., 13.948, $5,947. 8, (tie) Brook Rix, Skidmore, Texas, and Jimmy Bryant, Columbus, Ind., 13.958, $5, 203. 10, Lindsey McLeod, Whitesboro, Texas, 13.973, $4,460. 11, Stevi Hillman, Weatherford, Texas, 13.978, $3,965. 12, Chris Martin, Brookston, Texas, 13.991, $3,667. 13, Ari-Anna Flynn, Charleston, Ark., 13.994, $3,271. 14, Kathy Korell-Rach, Loveland, Colo., 14.010, $2,874. 15, (tie) Kylie Conner, Welsh, La., and Leslie Willis, Chester, S.C., 14.031, $2,278. 17, Kassie Mowry, Dublin, Texas, 14.041, $1,685. 18, Shelby McCauley, Hockley, Texas, 14.042, $1,388. 19, Wylee Mitchell, Pioche, Nev., 14.048, $1,189. 20, Terri Wood-Gates, West Jordan, Utah, 14.059, $991.
Team Roping: (first round winners) 1, Cody Snow, Los Olivos, Calif., and Billy Jack Saebens, Nowata, Okla., 4.77 seconds, $9,063. 2, Lane Ivy, Amarillo, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins II, Colombus, Kan., 5.09, $5,664. 3, Shane Philipp, Washington, Texas, and Wesley Thorp, Throckmorton, Texas, 5.13, $4532. 4, Zac Small, Welch, Okla., and Tyler Worley, Stephenville, Texas, 5.32, $3,776. 5, Brenten Hall, Jay, Okla., and Paden Bray, Granbury, Texas, 5.4, $3,399. 6, Tanner Baldwin, Vail, Ariz., and Lane Siggins, Phoenix, Ariz., 5.41, $3,021. 7, Charly Crawford and Will Woodfin, Stephenville, Texas, 5.49, $2,643. 8, Logan Olson and Walt Woodard, Stephenville, Texas, 5.53, $2,266. 9, Travis Whitlow, Queen Creek, Ariz., and Tanner Luttrell, Hermiston, Ore., 5.74, $1,888. 10, Bubba Buckaloo, Kingston, Okla., and Jake Smith, Broken Bow, Okla., 5.84, $1,511. (second round winners) 1, Cody Snow, Los Olivos, Calif., Wesley Thorp, Throckmorton, Texas, 4.43, $9,063. 2, Caleb Smidt, Bellville, Texas, and BJ Dugger, Center Point, Texas, 4.44, $5,664. 3, Trey Blackmore, Hillside, Ariz., Brock Hanson, Casa Grande, Ariz., 4.74, $4,532. 4, Charly Crawford and Will Woodfin, Stephenville, Texas, 4.87, $3,776. 5, David Key, Stephenville, Texas, and Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas, 5.41, $3,399. 6, Brenten Hall, Jay, Okla., and Tyler Worley, Stephenville, Texas, 5.56, $3,021. 7, Paul D. Tierney, Oral, S.D., and Cesar A. DeLaCruz, Tucson, Ariz., 5.71, $2,643. 8, Will Clark, Erin, Tenn., and Lane Mitchell, Bolivar, Tenn., 5.82, $2,266. 9, Dylan Gordon, Comanche, Okla., and Gage Williams, Foster, Okla., 5.83, $1,888. 10, Zac Small, Welch, Okla., and Tyler Worley, Stephenville, Texas, 5.87, $1,511. (total on two – Semi-Finals qualifiers) 1, Charly Crawford and Will Woodfin, Stephenville, Texas, 10.36, $10,196. 2, Zac Small, Welch, Okla., and Tyler Worley, Stephenville, Texas, 11.19, $6,457. 3, Lane Ivy, Amarillo, Texas, and Buddy Hawkins II, Colombus, Kan., 11.64, $4,418. 4, Dylan Gordon, Comanche, Okla., and Gage Williams, Foster, Okla., 11.89, $3,738. 5, Travis Whitlow, Queen Creek, Ariz., and Tanner Luttrell, Hermiston, Ore., 12.0, $3,059. 6, Shane Philipp, Washington, Texas, and Wesley Thorp, Throckmorton, Texas, 12.22, $2,719. 7, Manny Egusquiza Jr., Marianna, Fla., and Cody Hintz, Spring Creek, Nev., 12.32, $2,039, 8, Brenten Hall, Jay, Okla., and Paden Bray, Granbury, Texas, 12.35, $1,359.
Steer Wrestling: (first round winners) 1, Jacob Shofner, Huntsville, Texas, 3.50 seconds, $6,521. 2, Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla., 4.06, $3,598. 3, Brandon Harrison, Beaumont, Texas, 4.12, $2,923. 4, Donnie Endres, Elkville, Ill., 4.13, $2,024. 5, Ace Campbell, Robertson, Ala., 4.35, $1,799. 6, Billy Bugenig, Ferndale, Calif., 4.50, $1,574. 7, (tie) Shane Frey, Duncan, Okla., and Will Lummus, West Point, Miss., 4.52, $1,237. 9, Cole Edge, Durant, Okla., 4.65, $899. 10, Chase Crane, Boynton, Okla., 4.68, $675. (second round winners) 1, Riley Duvall, Checotah, Okla., 3.56, $6,521. 2, Ty Talsma, Verdigre, Neb., 3.78, $3,598. 3, Todd Suhn, Hermosa, S.D., 3.94, $2,923. 4, Cody Cabral, Hilo, Hawaii, 4.10, $2,024. 5, Cameron Morman, Glen Ullin, N.D., 4.22, $2,799. 6, Blake Knowles, Heppner, Ore., 4.34, $1,574. 7, Casey Harmon, Lipan, Texas, 4.35, $1,349. 8, Trevor Knowles, Mt. Vernon, Texas, 4.43, $1,124. 9, Tommy Denny, Menifee, Calif., 4.45, $899. 10, Kody Woodward, Dupree, S.D., 4.51, $675.