The American Rodeo Contender Tournament

September 22, 2022: Abilene, TX

The American Rodeo and the Ariat World Series of Team Roping kick off a historical partnership aimed at professional and semi-professional team ropers. In addition to The American Rodeo becoming the official sponsor of the Ariat WSTR Open events, the WSTR and a The American’s huge rodeo have teamed up to present The American Rodeo Contender Tournament semifinals events held in conjunction with regionally located Ariat World Series of Team Roping American Rodeo Open qualifiers. These events are the direct path for team ropers to have a shot at competing at the 2023 American Rodeo and its $1,000,000 contender prize.

At 2022 Ariat World Series of Team Roping events,
Open Ropers will have the opportunity to compete for $110,000 in added money!

Great news and just the beginning of the big payouts on the road to the American. The goal of this program is to allow higher numbered ropers to compete for higher payouts at the high quality Open WSTR events across the country and provide a path to the American Rodeo; delivering a much better chance at qualifying for both the Ariat WSTR Open American Rodeo Finale and the 2023 American Rodeo than ever before.

The only teams who are guaranteed a bye to the American Rodeo, by-passing all the semi-finals and regional finals, are the top-five teams at the end of the 2022 PRCA season (who are not eligible for the $1M Contender prize).

Fifteen teams from the PRCA standings (6th thru 20th) will be eligible to enter the Regional Finals joining six teams from the WSTR American Contender Tournament semifinals and nine teams from the WSTR Finale Wild Card event at one of the three Regional Finals rodeos. These 30 teams split into three geographic regions of ten teams with $40,000 added in each regional location. Eastern Regional Finals, Central Regional Finals, Western Regional Finals (see Contender Tournament bracket for additional progression). The dates and times TBA.

WSTR / American Rodeo Contender Tournament Semifinals Ropings

Six WSTR Open Ropings will include American Rodeo qualifiers running in conjunction with the WSTR roping. This is a roping within a roping, there are no separate rounds, but each will have their own entry fees and payout.

  • WSTR Open Ropings
    • Entry fees and roping format are as advertised for each specific event. All WSTR ropings are 80% payback.
    • Open teams who wish to compete in the American Rodeo Qualifier must be a WSTR member, Key Card member and enter the WSTR open to be eligible.
    • Ropers who win first or more than $2000 in either the WSTR pot or American Rodeo pot are qualified to enter the WSTR Finale at the discounted $2000/roper entry fee if entered within 30 days of win – a 33% entry fee savings.
    • WSTR Finale is an enter once event.
  • American Rodeo Qualifier
    • To be eligible, must be entered in the WSTR Open event and must be a current WSTR, or Key Card member.
    • Entry Fees for the American Rodeo Qualifier are $250 per roper and the format of the roping will match the WSTR Open Roping format.
    • $10,000 will be added at each American Rodeo Qualifier pot.
    • American Rodeo qualifier pot is 70% payback.
    • Placings will be determined and paid based on standard WSTR payout schedules.
    • Two teams from each WSTR American Rodeo Semifinals qualifiers will advance to that roping’s corresponding Regional Finals.
    • Ropers may only qualify once heading and once heeling. Ropers may not qualify more than once on the same end but may enter more than one Semifinals events for a chance at the added money.
    • If a roper places in the top two at multiple semifinals ropings, the next roper(s) will roll up and be qualified for the Regional finals.
    • If a roper qualifies but their partner is already qualified with someone else or cannot attend, the roper can pick up a new partner as long as that partner enters and ropes at the Ariat World Series of Team Roping American Rodeo Open Finale in Las Vegas, NV.
      The picked-up partner must pay an entry fee of $500 in order to rope at the Regional Finals.

2022 Ariat World Series of Team Roping American Rodeo Open Finale
Wild Card American Rodeo Round:

  • $50,000 will be added in this Finale division.
  • WSTR Discounted Entry Fees are $2,000 per roper if the roper earns a qualification spot or thru accumulated earnings if entered by the discount timelines.
  • WSTR Pre-entry Direct Entry Fees are $2,500 per roper (received by Oct 14). Received after Oct 14 or On-site direct entry fees are $2,750. Exception: Ropers who qualify at the Oct 27 and Nov 11 Open events can enter the Finale at the discount rate at time of qualification.
  • There is no separate American Rodeo pot or entry fee at the Finale, all contestants are eligible to advance. The top fifteen PRCA teams who make the NFR are not eligible to enter the Finale.
  • The Open format at the Finale will be five full rounds and a short round.
  • In addition to the Finale’s great payout and outstanding prizes, the top nine teams from the Ariat World Series of Team Roping American Rodeo Open Finale will advance to the Regional Finals.
    • Entry fee will be $250/roper who advances.
    • Based on placing, the top-9 Finale teams will get to choose which Regional Finals they will rope at. Example: 1st place gets to choose first. 2nd Place picks second and so on…
    • If a roper earns Regional Finals qualifying spot at the Finale but he/she is already qualified, the spot will roll down to the next eligible roper(s).
      The picked-up partner must pay a fee of $500 in order to rope at the Regional Finals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the results be tracked?

The results of each of the six Semi-Finals events will be posted on WSTRoping.com. The nine advancing from the WSTR Finale Wild Card event will also be posted at WSTRoping.com with their Regional selection. The PRCA standings are posted on its website.

Can I change or choose the Region to compete in if I qualify in multiple Semi-Finals events?

If a team or roper qualifies in multiple regions he/she will have the option to pick the Regional Finals they wish to compete in vacating a spot for another team or roper. This selection must be made by December 1 so that additional eligible ropers can be notified.

If both the header and heeler of the same team are already qualified or declare that they will not enter the Regional Finals who takes the place of that team and what does it cost to enter?

A team who moves up into a qualifying spot together from a Semi-Finals Regional qualifying event will not have an additional entry fee to the Regional Finals. If an individual header or heeler is a replacement partner he/she will owe the $500/entry fee.

Each roper who qualifies and advances from the Ariat World Series of Team Roping American Rodeo Open Finale, will pay a $250/roper entry fee to the Regional Finals. If only one member of the team choses to advance and finds a replacement partner, the original qualifying roper will owe $250, the replacement partner will owe $500.

Will there be a separate short round if none of the teams entered in the American Rodeo pot advance to the WSTR qualifying short round?

No, there are no separate rounds, the American Rodeo qualification spots will go to the fastest two aggregate teams of that event who are entered in the American Rodeo pot.

Abilene, TX Recap

Abilene TX Recap: American Rodeo Contender Tournament

September 2, 2022

Cleveland, TN Recap

Cleveland TN Recap: American Rodeo Contender Tournament

September 2, 2022

Tunica, MS Recap

Tunica MS Recap: American Rodeo Contender Tournament

August 12, 2022

Cheyenne, WY Recap

Cheyenne Recap: American Rodeo Contender Tournament

July 21, 2022

Program Overview

American Rodeo Contender Tournament Video

July 14, 2022

Semi-Finals Schedule

$10K Added Each Event

Abilene, TX
September 22, 2022

San Antonio, TX
October 27, 2022

Buckeye, AZ
November 26, 2022

Semi-Finals Full-Ropings

Click each image to watch video.

Cheyenne, WY
July 21, 2022 Full Cheyenne WY Open: American Rodeo Contender Tournament

Tunica, MS
August 12, 2022 Full Tunica MS Open: American Rodeo Contender Tournament

Cleveland, TN
September 2, 2022 Full Cleveland TN Open: American Rodeo Contender Tournament

The American Rodeo Contender Tournament
American Open Bracket