The American Contender Tournament returns with nationwide schedule of qualifying events, the opportunity to win big on the road to The American Rodeo $1 million bonus

ARLINGTON, Texas (June 13, 2023) Teton Ridge, a multi-platform western lifestyle and entertainment company, announced that The American Contender Tournament will return for a second year, visiting cities nationwide throughout 2023 and hosting January 2024 Regional Semi-Finals and Finals in Las Vegas (Nevada), Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) and Lexington (Kentucky).


The American Contender Tournament West, Central and East Regional Semi-Finals attract qualifiers from both coasts as well as the Central United States to compete in the re-imagined tournament style format in hopes of making it all the way to The Crown Jewel of Rodeo™The American Rodeo 2024.


In 2023, more than 2,500 rodeo athletes competed across the country to vie for a chance at the $1 million bonus on the line if they made it to The American Rodeo, earning impressive money along the way. Guaranteed prize money is upwards of $540,000 for the Regional Semi-Finals and Finals. Further enhancing competitive opportunities for rodeo athletes, three lucrative American Contender Tournament Open Team Ropings will run concurrent with each of the American Contender Tournament Regional Semi-Finals events in January 2024.


“Winning at the West Regional Finals earlier this year helped me tremendously in my rodeo career and life,” said Bailey Bates, a Native American Breakaway athlete, who won in Heber City, Utah. “A lot of finances add up while on the road competing. Winning a big check goes a long way to help with finances while chasing dreams.”


Acquired by Teton Ridge in late 2021, The American Rodeo, celebrating its 11th year in 2024, features competitors in all eight traditional rodeo disciplines – barrel racing, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping, tie down roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc and bull riding.


The only major western sports event where professional athletes compete against the “joes and janes” – fans can follow along throughout The American Contender Tournament by rooting for the underdog “Contenders” chasing big winnings along the way and visiting the Teton Ridge Plus website for updates.


Chiropractor and horse trainer by day, single mother Idaho barrel racer Tamara Barnhart (Athol, Idaho) was one of those that threw her hat in the ring last year. Barnhart competed in the West Region Finals after qualifying on a whim courtesy of a first-place finish at the 2023 All-In Barrel Race qualifying event in Las Vegas.


“The amount of recognition I received after competing amongst the best, within a first-class production, was amazing,” said Barnhart. “Getting as far as I did in the tournament really boosted my horse’s popularity and I’ve had many people tell me how inspirational my experience and success has been. I was able to live a dream of mine, which was priceless.”


Just under 100 Event Qualifiers lead to automatic qualifications or points toward the Regional Semi-Finals in January 2024:


WEST – January 11-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada at South Point Arena & Equestrian Center

CENTRAL– January 18-20 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at Jim Norick Arena

EAST– January 25-27 in Lexington, Kentucky at AllTech Arena


For more information on The American Contender Tournament, schedule of qualifying events and how to register as an athlete, please visit



The American Contender Tournament / The American Rodeo Media Contact:

Mandi McCary /

Cally Anderson/


South Point Hotel Arena & Equestrian Center:

Kylie Staudenmaier | Terri Maruca


About The American Rodeo:

The American, is an annual Western sports and entertainment experience that occurs each year and represents the richest single-day event in all of western sports. Over the course of qualifier events across the country, competitors will all battle for what could be the biggest single-day paycheck of their careers. Owned by Teton Ridge, The American is a true open competition in format, the iconic event brings together top professional rodeo athletes and honest, hardworking cowboys and cowgirls in a winner-take-all showdown, meant to crown the finest talent the world has to offer.


About Teton Ridge:
Teton Ridge is a multi-platform, wholly American-owned western lifestyle and entertainment company devoted to the iconic American western way of life. Teton Ridge’s Sports division was created with the singular focus of elevating classic Western sports and America’s western culture on the world stage, while broadening audiences around the globe as well as at home. In 2021, Teton Ridge acquired The American, the iconic event of the rodeo circuit, to continue to expand the audiences for rodeo sports and make it the world’s premier Western culture event. For more information about Teton Ridge, please visit or @tetonridge on Instagram @tetonridgeusa on Facebook.