16-year-old Barrel Racer Among 45 Athletes from Sold-Out East Region Finals in Lexington to Advance to Contender Tournament Finals in Abilene on the hunt for $1 million

BY TETON RIDGE | 1/27/2024

Barrel Racer Rylee Jo Maryman punches ticket to Abilene Finals on Feb. 10 after collecting $10,000 for top spot in Lexington. (Photo By Click Thompson)

FS1 to air all the action from Lexington on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 10 am ET

LEXINGTON, KY (January 27, 2024) – As the dust settled inside of Kentucky Horse Park’s AllTech Arena and the last of three Contender Tournament Region Finals concluded, 45 athletes immediately punched their ticket to advance from the East Region to Abilene, Texas for The American Contender Tournament Finals.


Among those hoisting $10,000 checks in the air in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday night was 16-year-old Rylee Jo Maryman from Saint Francisville, Louisiana. Maryman and the Top 5 competitors from each discipline in Lexington will move forward to Abilene in two weeks.  


Held at Taylor Telecom Arena on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024 – the Abilene event is the final step in the 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. Tickets are available HERE.   


A full list of the “Contender” athletes advancing from Lexington’s East Region Finals to Abilene including all-star names like barrel racing rookie phenom Maryman, 2018 PRCA World Champion and 9x time NFR qualifier Wade Sundell, team roping dynamic duo Coleman Proctor and Levi Lord, steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge, college standout Kincade Henry, and more- can be found HERE.


The American Contender Tournament’s East Region Finals will air on FS1 on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 10am ET.  


Those moving on will go up against world-class champions in the sport that were in the Top 5 in the PRCA/WPRA 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.


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).


More information and tickets can be found at www.americanrodeo.com. To apply for media credentials to cover the March 8 & 9 events, please visit www.americanrodeo.com/media-credentials