RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Creates Iconic Match Roping

RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Creates Iconic Match Roping

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Rodeo’s famed rivalry returns for one day when Cody Ohl and Fred Whitfield battle for an exemption into RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 25, 2015 – Two of the three highest-earning athletes in pro rodeo history – Cody Ohl and Fred Whitfield – will rekindle their rivalry for the last time in a match to be televised Feb. 14, 2016, on RFD-TV.

The two will face off inside The San Antonio (Texas) Rose Palace in a 10-head contest with the winner earning an exemption into RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN, presented by Polaris RANGER. During the event, each athlete will compete behind more than one score length and on calves of differing sizes.

“This year, instead of management deciding who receives exemptions, we thought we’d create matches between some of the best athletes in the world,” said Randy Bernard, CEO of RFD-TV Events. “This first one is truly an iconic match. It will be great to watch these two legends battle it out for only one spot, considering their history of fierce competition.”

Between 1995 and 2006, either Ohl or Whitfield won every world championship in tie-down roping except for one (in ’04). Ohl, 42, has earned $3.5 million and six world titles, while Whitfield, 48, has banked $3.2 million during eight gold-buckle runs. Whitfield became known nationally for “raising the roof” after good runs, while Ohl energized crowds with his six-second runs and penchant for pointing to his gold buckle. To date, they’re still at the top of their game, having both been ranked last year in the top 25 in the world.

“Cody always motivated me, honestly,” said Whitfield, who held the fast-time record of 84 seconds on 10 calves for 16 years.

“Nobody will tell the truth, but we’re about even. We roped last fall in his hometown and I stuck it on him. So I consider myself one-up so far. The fact of the matter is, Cody and I still drive each other. When you say ‘Fred Whitfield versus Cody Ohl,’ there’s something inside these old bones that just lights up.”

Ohl will forever be remembered by rodeo fans for blowing out his knee and crawling to his final animal in Las Vegas in 2001 en route to earning two gold buckles that year. He then bounced back from three surgeries to earn nearly $300,000 in 2006 – a single-event record in rodeo that still stands. Ohl still holds records for most go-round wins in one event (52) and fastest time recorded (6.5 seconds) at the Wrangler NFR.

“This concept is unreal,” Ohl said, “not only because it’s a chance to rope for a million dollars, but also just for the opportunity to rope in that facility. AT&T Stadium is the nicest place I've chased a calf in the 25 years I've been rodeoing. Just to get to come down the same hallway as all those great football players; that venue is special, bar none.”


Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and Western lifestyle. With a mission of reconnecting “city with country,” RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, RURAL RADIO, FamilyNet, and RFD-TV The Magazine. RMG networks are distributed to more than 100 million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV®, Comcast, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter Spectrum, Suddenlink, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. Corporate headquarters and broadcast operations are in Nashville, Tennessee.

RFD-TV is the flagship network for Rural Media Group. Launched in December 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. RFD-TV produces six hours of live news each weekday in support of rural America and is a leading independent cable channel available in more than 50 million homes.

Found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 147, this is the agribusiness and Western-lifestyle channel for the U.S. and Canada. RURAL RADIO’s program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, Western sports, and living the country life in small towns around rural America. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The channel airs multiple exclusive series including “MARKET DAY REPORT,” “RURAL EVENING NEWS,” “RURAL AMERICA LIVE,” and “WESTERN SPORTS ROUND-UP,” as well as “Outside the Barrel,” with Flint Rasmussen, “Commodity Wrap,” with Marlin Bohling, “AgPhD,” “RealAg Radio,” “AgDay,” “FFA Today,” and “Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.” RURAL RADIO also carries live broadcasts of Western sports competitions such as the PBR, PRCA rodeos, and WPCA Chuckwagon races.

FamilyNet is America’s trusted entertainment network dedicated to providing wholesome and responsible viewing choices for today’s diverse family.

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For more information, visit rfdtv.com, familynet.com, ruralradio147.com.

PR@rfdtv.com, (615) 296-9332

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