Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and Lexington, Kentucky, will host regional finals and semifinals during The American Contender Tournament in 2024 organized by Teton Ridge, a western lifestyle and entertainment company.
The American Contender Tournament will be held for the second year running. In 2023, more than 2,500 athletes competed across the country for the chance at a $1 million bonus if they advanced to The American Rodeo. Events in 2024 will be held January 11-13 at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas; January 18-20 at Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City; and January 25-27 at AllTech Arena in Lexington.
Guaranteed prize money is upward of $540,000 for the regional semifinals and finals. Further enhancing competitive opportunities, three American Contender Tournament open team ropings will run concurrent with each of the regional semifinal events.
“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 2021, The American Rodeo, celebrating its 11th year in 2024, features competitors in barrel racing, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping, tie down roping, bareback riding, saddle bronc and bull riding. The event features both professional athletes against non-professionals. Idaho barrel racer Tamara Barnhart advanced to the West Region Finals after qualifying 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.”