THE AMERICAN Challenges Tie-Down World Champions to a Head-to-Head Competition

RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER has issued a challenge to Eight-time World Champion, Joe Beaver and Eight-time World Champion, Fred Whitfield to compete for the exemption spot at RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Semifinals on February 21-23, 2014. The cowboy who wins, will earn his spot in the tie-down roping event on March 2 at RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

It will be a two-head match, one on Saturday and one on Sunday night of the semifinals. The exemption winner will compete against the current greatest tie down ropers in the world, including 2013 World Champion Shane Hanchey, 2009 World Champion Trevor Brazile, 2012 World Champion Tuf Cooper and 2007 World Champion Cody Ohl for the tie-down roping title for THE AMERICAN.

The winner of the tie-down roping match up will be the fourth athlete awarded one of the limited exemptions. Two-time PBR World Champion Justin McBride was recently given the spot for bull riding, seven-time World Champion Dan Mortensen was awarded his in the saddle bronc competition and eleven-time World Champion Charmayne James was awarded hers in the barrel racing competition. Additional exemptions will be announced in the coming weeks.

Beaver began his career in 1985 at the age of twenty where he entered the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) as the youngest tie-down roper, and won the world champion title. He won that title again in 1987, 1988, 1992 and 1993. Beaver won the All-Around World Champion title in 1995, 1996 and 2000. In 2000, he was inducted to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, and up until 2006 was the PRCA all-time career earnings leader.

Whitfield has remained a strong force in the rodeo world since he joined the PRCA in 1989, becoming PRCA Rookie of the Year in 1990. In July 2011, Whitfield became the third cowboy in PRCA history to cross the $3 million mark in career earnings. He won the PRCA championship titles in tie-down roping in 1991 and again in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2005. In 1999, he won the All-Around World Champion title. In 2004, he was inducted in into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame for tie-down roping. He is also an accomplished author, in 2013, he penned the autobiography Gold Buckles Don't Lie: The Untold Tale of Fred Whitfield.

“It would be a huge honor for THE AMERICAN Semi-Finals to have two of the world’s greatest tie-down ropers ever compete for an exemption spot at THE AMERICAN. I hope Joe and Fred will accept this offer because if you are a rodeo fan, it just doesn’t get any better and both have always shined when they are under the spotlight”, said Randy Bernard, Rural Media Group President and CEO. “This rodeo is about the fans and elevating western sports by showing off the extreme level of athleticism these cowboys and cowgirls bring to the arena.”

THE AMERICAN semifinals will be an exciting 3 days with athletes competing for their shot at the $2 million payout. If accepted, the match between two Pro Rodeo Hall of Famers is sure to be an exciting addition.

The top five winners from the semifinals will compete against the top 10 athletes from the PBR World Final standings and WNFR final world standings. Tickets for THE AMERICAN Semifinals in Mesquite, Texas, February 21-23, 2014 range from $14 to $30 and can be purchased at the Mesquite Arena’s box office and at

RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Rodeo will be held on March 2, 2014 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It is the richest rodeo in the history of western sports with a $2 million payout.

RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER is being closely coordinated with PBR’s Iron Cowboy V, which will take place on March 1, 2014 at AT&T Stadium. Combined, the events are expected to bring more than 100,000 fans and participants to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Tickets for RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER, and the Iron Cowboy V are on sale at the AT&T Stadium Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations and at Prices for each event range from $20 to $150, not including taxes.