45 Athletes Advance to Abilene from West Region Finals in Las Vegas, One Step Closer to Competing on Western Sports Largest Stage for $1 Million at The American Rodeo

BY TETON RIDGE | 1/15/2024

Bareback Rider Garrett Shadbolt punches ticket to Abilene Finals on Feb. 10 after collecting $10,000 for top spot in Las Vegas. (Photo By Click Thompson)

FS1 to air replays of all the action from Las Vegas throughout the week leading into Central Region event in Oklahoma City

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (January 15, 2023) – As three days of top-tier western sports action at The American Contender Tournament West Region Finals came to a close inside Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel & Casino on Saturday night, the Top 5 athletes in each rodeo discipline 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 Las Vegas’ West Region Finals to Abilene, Texas including all-star names like 17x WPRA champion breakaway roper JJ Hampton alongside 23x champion Jackie Crawford, 4x NFR qualifier bareback rider Cole Reiner, 2012 PRCA world champion bull rider Cody Teel- can be found HERE.


The American Contender Tournament’s West Region Finals will replay on FS1 on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 9pm ET, Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 11pm ET, Thursday, Jan. 18 at noon ET and Sunday, Jan 21 at 8am ET just before the Central Region action from Oklahoma airs 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 two remaining nationally televised Regional Finals event being held in Oklahoma City Jan. 18-20 at Jim Norrick Arena and 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).


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