Challenges Tie-Down World Champions to a Head-to-Head Competition
CONTACT: RFD-TV Public Relations PR@RFDTV.com or 702-468-0137
THE AMERICAN Challenges Tie-Down World Champions to a Head-to-Head Competition for a Chance to Compete for Biggest Payout in Western Sports History
Eight-time World Champion, Joe Beaver and Eight-time World Champion,
Fred Whitfield challenged to duke it out for a chance at the $2 million payout.
OMAHA, Neb. –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 americanrodeo.com
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 americanrodeo.com. Prices for each event range from $20 to $150, not including taxes.
Notes to Editors:
About RFD-TV's THE AMERICAN Presented by Polaris RANGER: Taking place at Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium on March 2, 2014, with an estimated attendance of 75,000, RFD-TV's THE AMERICAN Presented by Polaris RANGER is the single largest 1-day cash prize event in the entire history of rodeo. With $2-million on the line, the best athletes in the world will be gathering in Dallas to compete in one epic day of raw rodeo will, skill and power. THE AMERICAN is inviting the top 10 athletes in each of the traditional rodeo sports as well as the top 10 from the PBR. The top 10 bull riding contestants will be invited after the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas, and the remainder of the primary rodeo sports contenders, will be determined after the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. In addition to the 10 invites, THE AMERICAN will make five additional spots available for any rodeo athlete in the world through five regional qualifiers. If one of those athletes goes on to win their respective event at THE AMERICAN they will split an additional bonus pool of $1-million dollars in prize money. With the help of broadcast partners and sponsors, RFD-TV will be broadcasting the event LIVE on the day, helping to bring the totality of this defining western sports experience to a wide national audience. For more information, please visit: www.americanrodeo.com and www.RFDTV.com. Follow us on Twitter @RFDTVAMERICAN and on find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RFDTVTheAMERICAN
About Rural Media Group, Inc. (RMG): Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world's leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and western lifestyle. RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, FamilyNet, RURAL TV, RURAL RADIO on SiriusXM channel 80, RFD-TV the Magazine and RFD-TV the Theatre. RFD-TV, the flagship network for RMG, launched in December 2000. RFD-TV is the nation's first 24-hour television network dedicated to serving the needs and interests of rural America with programming focused on agriculture, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. RMG acquired FamilyNet, America's trusted entertainment network dedicated to providing wholesome and responsible viewing choices for today's diverse family. RURAL TV produces rural business news covering commodity markets for both cash and futures. Daily productions include Market Day Report and the Rural Evening News. RMG networks are distributed into more than 63-million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV®, Comcast, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter, Optimum, Brighthouse, Suddenlink, Time Warner, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. RFD-TV The Magazine is the print programming guide for the networks, which has attracted over 180,000 paid subscribers. RFD-TV The Theatre is a 2000 capacity soft seat venue in Branson, MO where entertainment programming is produced. Corporate headquarters are in Omaha, NE, and production operations are in Nashville, TN. For more information, visit www.rfdtv.com, www.myruraltv.com, and www.familynet.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @OfficialRFDTV @RURALTV @FamilyNet @RURALRADIO80