The Patriot & The American

Janee Ornelas winning the 1D championship at The Patriot. (Photo Courtesy of Janee Ornelas, by 3 Lazy J Photography)

By Krista Lucas 

The world’s richest one day rodeo was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 25 for the fifth year in a row. The American was once again a huge success for the sport of rodeo, bringing rodeo’s underdogs, up-and-comers, and superstar veterans of the sport under one roof to compete.

The week leading up to The American was a busy one to say the least. Contestants who had previously qualified for The American semi-finals, held at the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, were vying for a chance to advance to Sunday’s big show.

Timed event contestants had several opportunities to compete during the week. Barrel racers, team ropers and calf ropers could also enter The Patriot, held at Will Rogers Memorial Center, in conjunction with The American. The Patriot is the richest combined equine event, where there is something for every level of competitor. Cowboys and cowgirls travel from all over to compete in Fort Worth during the month of February.

In the barrel racing, some of the toughest horses and riders were seen in the Open 4D, futurity, young guns race and an American qualifier for 2019. Wenda Johnson got a jump-start on qualifying for next year’s American by winning the first qualifying race on her horse “Dreams First Dash.” Two-time world champion barrel racer, Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi, won the futurity average on “Ima Famous Babe,” and McKenzie Morgan of Maryville, Tenn., won the youth race on “In Firewaters Honor.” The 4D Shootout Round proved to be an exciting race of the top 50 in each division coming back for one final run and a chance to win money and prizes.

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