Payton Jessee is Winner of the 2020 DISH Back in the Saddle Award


Congrats to Payton Jessee on winning the 2020 Back in the Saddle Award, presented by DISH.

During the six-year history of The American, there are numerous competitor stories that encapsulate the essence of the U.S. Open-type format. Grit, determination, perseverance, courage, and dedication are many of the descriptors for these “against all odds” qualifiers. In its third year as sponsor of The American Semi-Finals in 2020, DISH would again like to shine a light on one of these tremendous stories of athletic and character excellence.

Payton came back from a career-ending injury after her horse fell on her while running barrels. She underwent bone graphs and total reconstruction on her crushed hip to repair the damage. After months of physical therapy, the unthinkable happened when a complication with the hip reconstruction caused her femur to break. After almost 2 years of physical therapy, she worked her way back to being well enough for Rodeo.

DISH became part of THE AMERICAN family in 2018. Not only are they the presenting sponsor of the Semi-Finals event, they also developed the “Back in the Saddle” award, a $5,000 cash prize awarded to a peer-nominated athlete who has overcome long odds – injury, illness, personal setback or other unforeseen events – to make it to THE AMERICAN Semi-Finals.