WHAT: RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Presented by Polaris RANGER’s Semifinal Rodeo is the last opportunity for any cowboy or cowgirl to win a place in THE AMERICAN, where he or she will compete against the best in the world for part of a $2 million purse. The Semifinals will consist of seven events (saddle bronc, bareback, tie-down roping, barrel racing, bull riding, team roping and steer wrestling). 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 americanrodeo.com.
The Semifinals will showcase an exclusive match-up between Tie-Down ropers, Fred Whitfield and Joe Beaver. The two world champions will compete against each other for the chance to compete in THE AMERICAN on March 2nd.
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.
The announcement was made on RFD-TV’s Road to THE AMERICAN weekly show that aired live on RFD-TV and Rural TV on January 8, 2014 at 9 pm ET. Host Justin McKee featured 2013 World Champion Shane Hanchey before having 8x World Champion Joe Beaver and 8x World Champion Fred Whitfield on to make their official announcement.
“If it’s a Fred and Joe show we’re going to sell a few tickets, we still have a name in this business and we earned it,” said Joe Beaver, 8-time world champion. “It’s going to be fun and it’s something that I wouldn’t think of doing but for the betterment of rodeo and with Randy who got so involved to make THE AMERICAN something special. It’s something special and it’s what brings me out.”
“I feel like I’m pretty competitive and the thing about it is too, Joe beaver is too and I know Joe hasn’t roped in a while, but we’ve had tons of battles over the years and I know Joe hasn’t forgotten how to rope or how to win,” said Fred Whitfield, 8-time world champion. “So I’m expecting to get the best from him at THE AMERICAN.”
WHO: 8-time World Champion Roper Fred Whitfield and 8-time World Champion Joe Beaver , along with Cowboys and Cowgirls from across the country, contestants in tie-down roping, team roping, barrel racing and steer wrestling, bareback, saddle bronc, and bull riding.
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.
WHERE: Mesquite Arena
1818 Rodeo Drive
Mesquite, TX 75149
WHEN: Friday February 21st- Sunday 23rd