As our Rodeo Round Up team headed to the Ft. Worth Stockyards earlier today we could not have imagined that anything could have topped what we were honored to witness just 24-hours before that. As we walked around the outside of the Cowtown Coliseum waiting for the action to start what happened was absolutely amazing. You could tell an amazing event was taking place as Fallon Taylor, J.B. Mauney and Jory Markiss could be seen walking the streets with the amazing fans here to witness history this weekend.
Once the doors opened the fans piled into the Cowtown Coliseum as the RFD-TV’s American semi-finals were set to begin. Over the last three nights, the hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls competed to make the shoot-out round here this evening as the field would be finalized for the main event on Sunday afternoon. After all was said and done the top five contestants in each event from the aggregate would advance to the RFD-TVs The American event to compete for the 1.1 million dollar payday that is just 48-hours away!
Tilden Hooper Takes Home The Semi-Finals Championship
Photo Credit: Denise Hetland Photography
As the bareback riding began on the championship day of the RFD-TV’s American semi-finals the cowboys were set to give all that they had in order to head to AT&T Cowboy Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Bareback rider Tilden Hooper of Weatherford, Texas made his mark early and guaranteed himself one of those five openings after winning the semi-finals with an aggregate score of 166.50 points on two head. Tonight he was able to go to the top with a solid 86.50 point ride aboard Night Fist.
Everyone could tell what was at stake for each of these cowboys, not only by the effort they put out, but by exactly who was behind the bucking chutes partaking in the celebrations as well. Tonight Hooper brought out the big guns after it was made known that World Champion bareback rider Kaycee Feild was spotting him while he readied himself earlier this evening. If you are only as good as those that you surround yourself with he has surely made the right decision heading into AT&T Cowboy Stadium on Sunday!
Claudio Marcelino de Montanha Jr. Advances To Sunday Afternoon
Photo Credit: Jenn Swalwell Photography
Over the last three nights of competition the bull riding offered numerous reasons to cheer loudly and become excited for what would lie ahead. In a change from other events each and every bull rider that earned a qualified ride would advance to tonight’s final shoot-out round to see who would become the top five of the event that would move on to the main event Sunday afternoon. Many of the top PBR bull riders as well as some virtual newcomers would put on amazing displays of talent and fight to the finish for one of those five open spots.
After everything was said and done there would be one man that could call himself the RDF-TV’s The American semi-finals champion after a dominating performance over the last three days. Brazilian Claudio Marcelino de Montanha Jr. would continue what he has done since last weekend’s debut on the elite Built Ford Tough Series. This talented young man has only been in the United States for 45 days and has already earned enough points to stay on the BFTS tour and will now compete for a 1.1 million dollar payday in just 48 short hours!
Wylee Mitchell Reacts To Her RFD-TV’s The American Qualification
Photo Credit: Denise Hetland Photography
Just 24-hours ago our Rodeo Round Up team had the honor of being introduced to a very talented young barrel racer by the name of Wylee Mitchell. The Pioche, Nevada cowgirl left her home on a limb one weekend this last summer in hopes of qualifying for a spot in the semi-finals during a qualification event in Arizona to do just that in dominating fashion. That being said she was able to lay down a 14.012 run last night that put her in sixth place heading into the last ten ladies earlier tonight.
Kylee was in the stands watching nervously as contestants made the waiting game more and more unbearable. As the round drew half way this young cowgirl was sitting on the bubble in the number five spot. Watching anxiously, the last barrel racer that could knock her out of the RFD-TVs The American tipped a barrel and the celebration began for this 12-year-old cowgirl. I was able to catch up with her just after the realization that she would be part of the Sunday festivities at AT&T Cowboy Stadium. See what she had to say in this emotionally raw video interview below!
Afer the conclusion of the RFD-TV’s The American earlier tonight the buzz and excitement around town is at an all-time high. Everyone knows that history will be made and there is a great possibility that that history could be made from some contestants that are not even 18 years old yet or have just turned 18 within the year. Watching these young rodeo superstars over the past couple of days brings excitement to myself and my entire team here in Ft. Worth and Arlington as well as the thousands of fans that are witnessing it live or millions watching on their own television from home!
The Rodeo Round Up team have added a few amazing photographers to our list this year to cover even more of the action from Texas and the Iron Cowboy and RFD-TV’s The American events throughout the week. First off is my amazing wife, Denise Hetland, and you can see all of her coverage from her facebook page by clicking the link HERE. Secondly, Jenn Swalwell will be covering some of the action as well and you can see all of her photographs from Texas by clicking her facebook page link HERE. Lastly, Jeana Wilson Kilcrease who shot for us in Oklahoma City and will continue to shoot throughout the year including here in Texas. Follow all of her photographs by visiting her photography page by clicking the link HERE!
It is quite easy to follow all the breaking news and excitement with the Rodeo Round Up simply by copying this website into your favorites in your web browser for easy one-click access to event statistics. You can also like and follow us on Facebook here, or by liking and following us on Instagram at @rodeoroundup and on Twitter at @therodeoroundup. You can have easy access to all of the video interviews Jason does from all the events across the country as well by simply clicking the link HERE to be transferred to the Rodeo Round Up’s Youtube channel as well! Jason has also made it easy for you to be a part of his interviews by opening up a listener comment line. If you have a question for a certain rodeo star simply call in and leave your name, where you are from, who the question is for and what your question is and he will do his best to get it answered for you during his interviews!