Just last month there was a rodeo, RFD’s The American, held where cowboys and cowgirls could compete for up to $1,000,000. Each event consisted of the top 10 in the world, five contestants who qualified, and then one or two exemption contestants who were invited. 

Because Randy Bernard gave a few exemptions in The American, we got to see Charmayne James run barrels, Dan Mortensen ride a saddle bronc horse, Ote Berry wrestle steers, and Joe Beaver and Fred Whitfield rope calves. Randy couldn’t choose between Jake, Clay and I (Rich was already qualified) so he invited us to rope with partners of our choice.

The top 10 in each event could win $100,000. However, one of the qualifying or exemption contestants was eligible to win the $1,000,000. There’s no way to describe what it was like to be entered in a one-day rodeo at Cowboy Stadium with an opportunity to win $1,000,000. I can only hope the sport of rodeo can continue to grow.

What Randy Bernard and RFD TV did was create a way for anyone, in any event, without being one of the top 10 in the world, to win $1,000,000. Ironically, the event with the least amount of contestants paid the $1,000,000. A kid named Richmond Champion beat the top 10 bareback riders in the world and became a millionaire in one day. 

If you’re a team roper that is consistent, it’s definitely worth the effort to attempt to qualify for The American and be eligible to win a million dollars.

The PRCA has renegotiated their contract with Las Vegas Events and in 2015 the rounds will pay $30,000 per night and the average will pay close to $90,000. This means contestants have a chance to win $200,000 to $300,000 at the NFR in ten days. These advances in rodeo pave the way for guys to eventually win a million or two a year in the sport of rodeo.

 That gives me hope that my kids have a chance for this sport to grow and the opportunity to win a lot of money. 

What’s new with me: We’ve had a big change at the speedroping.com arena. We have been working on my wife’s heeling for four years now and she has some very nice heel horses. 

Recently I told her I have two head horses I don’t need since I’m not going to rodeo this summer. I wanted her to ride them and see how she got along. 

Jennifer won second in the Wildfire All Girl roping with 299 teams. As a #5 heeler she usually heels in the #10 and #9. But she also heads extremely well and there’s a lot of money to be won in the #13, #12, and #11 ropings. 

So we will be shooting a lot of video of drills for my wife and daughter heading and preparing for competition. My advice to Dad’s is be careful letting your daughter warm up your horse. They have a tendency to claim the ones they get along with. Hali has taken one of my up and coming horses away from me.

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