Home /  “The American Cowboy” Team Roping and RFD-TV’s The American
Posted on Jun 5, 2018

“The American Cowboy” Team Roping and RFD-TV’s The American

On May 28th RFD-TV held a press conference at AT&T Stadium, and among other things announced that the World Series of Team Roping has been invited to become a part of  2019 RFD-TV’s American Rodeo.


For several years, the WSTR Las Vegas Finale has been on the map as the second richest equine event in the world based on its high dollar format. The World Series of Team Roping will use this opportunity to introduce a new concept that has been in the plan for some time. We are happy to announce that “The American Cowboy” will become the name and title sponsor for the inaugural #10. The former national publication will become a video series about the American Cowboy in 2019. The hybrid match concept has been branded in order to give team ropers a clear distinction between the qualifiers for RFD-TV’s American rodeo and those for the WSTR in Las Vegas Finale, although that name is sure to cause confusion but in a good way. The WSTR’s first effort will be a #10 division that will culminate with the top six short-round teams competing at RFD- TV’s 2019 The American.


WSTR will use RFD-TV’s The American as a catalyst for the concept that is expected to develop into a three-division program for WSTR in the next few years. The RFD-TV’s American this year will pay each rodeo event $190,000. World Series has guaranteed a minimum $100,000 purse for The American Cowboy #10, but WSTR President Denny Gentry says that in reality the 2019 target would be at least $500,000.  He commented, “If the planning goes right and ropers support this concept, qualification payoffs should be roughly $200,000 and $400,000 to the aggregate winners.  I can conceivably see purse checks for everyone advancing past the matches, with six big checks paid in the Rope Off.”


WSTR will use a three-step process to maximize payoffs and minimize competition.

 Step one will be regular qualification jackpots at WSTR and selected USTRC qualifiers. Since WSTR is extremely strong in the west and USTRC is strong in the east, both associations will assist.

Step two will match qualified teams in head to head competitions. Teams will only have to win three matches (beat three teams) to advance and make their way to a final rope off.  WSTR is anticipating that after the third match there should be 12 teams still standing. Example: if 100 teams qualify, after match one 50 teams remain, after match two 25 teams remain, after match three 12 teams remain.

Step Three will be a four-steer jackpot among the remaining teams, with the top 6 call backs in the short round roping in the American rodeo performance.

All teams reaching the rope off are guaranteed a check! The Rope off will determine how large that check might be.


Contractors will be asked to incorporate a $200 per roper “American Cowboy” qualifier at each WSTR qualification roping, and designated USTRC events. To avoid disrupting the regular WSTR events, contractors will be asked to replace current add-on ropings in their schedules. In addition, to keep ropers from having to choose whether to spend their fees on a WSTR qualifier or American Cowboy #10, all teams qualifying for the American Cowboy #10”, will also simultaneously qualify for the WSTR Finale and the NFTR. These “American Cowboy” qualifiers will follow the current WSTR jackpot format. The normal WSTR payback scale will be used related to number of places paid, which is based on roughly a winning check for every 20 teams. Ropers receive a qualification spot for every 60 teams.


The American Cowboy qualification purses will be flat fees, with first place receiving $1600; all other paid positions will receive $1200. The extra qualification position awarded at every 60-team increment will look as follows:  Example 39 team qualifier, 1st $1600. 2nd $1200. Example: 65-team qualifier, 1st: 1600, 2nd 1600, 3rd $1200, and 4th $1200. Example 130 team qualifier, 1st $1600, 2nd $1600, 3rd $1600, 4th $1200, 5th $1200, 6th $1200. All other money will be pooled and moved to the final payoff in Dallas culminating in the short round at The American.


With only nine months until The American on March 2nd, the number of teams expected to qualify should be 100 or less. That guestimate is based on the probability of qualifying about five to nine per month. The head to head matches are tentatively scheduled to occur in the Dallas area on the weekend of RFD-TV’s American. However, there is an alternate plan under discussion, and it is highly conceivable the matches could be completed within their respective regions to limit travel and cost to contestants. On the outside chance that the concept catches on quickly with many participants, we are discussing the logistics of completing matches within their respective time zones.  This should allow the east coast, west coast and Canada equal opportunity. If that should be the case, only teams guaranteed to be in the money would have to travel to Dallas for the final rope off on March 2nd.


WSTR is very hopeful that this program will be successful and if so will expand to additional divisions in coming years. This is an exciting opportunity for recreational ropers everywhere, please join us for the very first “American Cowboy #10”!


1.     Two entries will be allowed at The American Cowboy qualifiers, 4 steer aggregate, $200/roper. Although team are allowed to enter twice at the qualifier, individuals may NOT be qualified more than once. Ropers may enter the qualifiers as often as they like until they get a qualification position.

2.     There will be no additional entry fees after ropers initially enter at the qualifier.

3.     The #10 roping will be capped at a 6 heeler, 21 and older.

4.     In an instance where one member of a team receives a handicap increase, each partner may get a replacement partner, but a match must occur between the two new teams that will result in one team remaining.

5.     If a heeler’s handicap increases and exceeds 6, that roper is eliminated and the remaining partner may find a replacement.

6.     Qualification ropings must have a minimum of 20 teams competing to produce a qualified team. Any roping with less than twenty teams will cancel and fees refunded to ropers on the spot.

Countdown to Finale XI