Breakaway Roper Josie Conner punches ticket to Abilene Finals on Feb. 10 after collecting $10,000 for top spot in Oklahoma City. (Photo By Click Thompson)
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (January 20, 2024) – On Saturday night, as three action-packed days of premier western sports action at Oklahoma City’s Jim Norrick Arena for The American Contender Tournament Central Region Finals concluded, 45 athletes immediately punched their ticket to advance to Abilene, Texas for The American Contender Tournament Finals.
Held at Taylor Telecom Arena on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 – the Abilene event is the final step in their journey toward a potential life-changing $1 million bonus at the “Crown Jewel of Rodeo,” The American Rodeo on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at Globe Life Field.
A full list of the of the “Contender” athletes advancing from Oklahoma City’s Central Region Finals to Abilene including all-star names like 2014 inaugural winner of The American Rodeo – bareback rider Richmond Champion, fellow bareback rider and two-time American champion Tilden Hooper, breakaway roper Jordan Jo Hollabaugh, team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueria, phenom barrel racer London Gorham, saddle bronc rider Lefty Holman, tie-down roper Shane Hanchey and more- can be found HERE.
The American Contender Tournament’s Central Region Finals will air on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 10am ET.
Those moving on will go up against world-class champions in the sport that were in the Top 5 in the standings at the end of 2023. While the professional athletes will be defending their champion status, the everyday cowboys and cowgirls going up against them will be chasing the opportunity to advance to the ultimate high-stakes showdown and life-changing $1 million bonus.
Fans still have the opportunity to cheer on other dedicated “Contenders” from around the country in addition to professional athletes that fell outside of the Top 5 (No. 6-20) in the standings, as they put it all on the line at the one remaining Regional event being held in Lexington Jan. 25-27 at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. Tickets are available HERE.
Acquired by Teton Ridge in late 2021, The American Rodeo, celebrating its 11th year, is the only rodeo where the pros compete against “the joes and the janes,” featuring competitors in all eight traditional rodeo disciplines: barrel racing, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping (heading and heeling), tie down roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
With non-stop rodeo action, live music, entertainment and more, the industry-leading event is the centerpiece of Teton Ridge’s The American Western Weekend in Arlington, March 8-9. Friday night will feature The American Performance Horseman bringing together the top five year-end money-earning professionals from the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA), National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), and National Reining Horse Association (NRHA).