ARLINGTON, Texas — RFD-TV’s “The American” captured the attention of rodeo enthusiasts last March as their qualifying format paid out the first one million dollar prize to a young bareback rider Richmond Champion in rodeo’s richest one-day payday history.
With overwhelming support from the public and contestants, this year’s qualifying rounds offer up the sought after position in the semi-finals which will be in Texas the final week of February. Up to the top ten contestants from the semi-finals will go head-to-head with the top 15 contestants from the 2014 World Standings in a one day chute out for a potential million dollar prize and huge event pay outs of over $2 million in Arlington, Texas on March , 2015 at AT&T Stadium.
Canadian bronc riding brothers Wyatt and Zeke Thurston have both advanced to the Semi’s in Fort Worth. Twenty year old Zeke qualified by winning the Professional Roughstock Series event in Loveland, Colorado with an 84 point ride on September 20th. Luke Butterfield of Ponoka, AB also finished among the top five to advance to the semi-final.
Wyatt Thurston took to the highway in Salina, Kansas where he was able to put together a top five finish for his ticket to the semi-finals.
The Thurston boys have a busy fall with a win at this past weekend’s MRCA Finals and the CCA Finals on the roster for Wyatt while Zeke is headed to the PRCA Permit Challenge during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Both brothers will make a January appearance at the PRCA Montana Circuit Finals in Great Falls.
Other Canadians qualified for the American include Gaileen Babcock and Matt Mousseau. Kristy White, CFR barrel racer is currently on the list as an alternate for the semi’s and will make one last bid to qualify in Buckeye, Arizona this winter. A number of Canadian contestants will vie for positions at qualifiers in the coming months.