BLM RESPONDS TO AAC ARTICLE AND PETITION REGARDING KILLING 45,000 HORSES AND BURROS
AMERICAN WILD HORSE PRESERVATION CAMPAIGN SAYS BLM HAS RELEASED STATEMENT THAT THEY ARE REJECTIING ADVISORY BOARD RCOMMENDATION
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 18, 2016
Wild horses being rounded up by helicopter.
Just hours after my article was published on Sept. 15, the BLM is having second thoughts about the wild horse population on public lands and has said they “won’t kill wild horses.”
Also, the morning after my previous article was published, Rick Dennis, who wrote a lot of the articles published again yesterday, had a phone call from the BLM this morning in response to the article. They are listening.
Following is a response from the BLM published by Reuters.
THE U. S. GOVERNMENT SAYS IT DOES NOT PLAN TO KILL WILD HORSES
The US government said on Wednesday (Sept. 14) it has no plans to euthanize a large share of the more than 45,000 wild horses and burros removed from lands mostly in the U.S. West, after an advisory panel’s proposal to kill some of the animals sparked outrage.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said they struggle to find people to adopt the growing number of wild horses and burros, which costs the agency millions annually to maintain in corrals and pasturelands.
The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on Friday recommended the bureau consider euthanizing the animals that cannot be adopted, or selling them to companies that might slaughter them.
But Tom Gorey, spokesman for the bureau, said in an email that the agency will “continue its current policy of carrying for unadopted or unsold wild horses and burros” and will “not sell or send any animals to slaughter.”
The bureau is expected to formally respond to the panel at its meeting within months.
The panel’s recommendation created an uproar among animal rights activists and highlighted the challenges ahead for the U.S. government as it seeks to control the population of wild horses and burros.
Gillian Lyons, wild horse and burro program manager for Humane Society of the United States, said members of the public were quick to criticize the idea of killing the wild animals.
“It’s something the American public just doesn’t know about, you don’t think of wild horses being held in facilities all across the United States,” Lyons said.
She added that the bureau has a responsibility to the animals because it captured them.
Even after decades of round-ups of wild horses and burros, 67,000 of these animals roam the United States, mostly in Nevada and California, according to government estimates.
Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals. The bureau spends nearly $50 million a year in upkeep for captured horses and burros, Gorey said.
The Humane Society alleges the bureau spends so much paying private contractors to hold the animals that it cannot afford to expand its program to administer birth control to the animals on the range, which it contends would be more effective for population control than round-ups.
But the bureau counters fertility control is difficult in part because the birth control drug wears off in less than two years.
(Posted by Reuters, reported by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Marguerita Choy)
Some of the facts in the above response from the BLM don’t make sense, with of them being that they claim above, “Without natural predators, they have proliferated far beyond the roughly 27,000 animals the U.S. government says would be a population low enough to prevent overgrazing and preserve land for other animals.”
The BLM is the government agency that spent over $80 million a year to kill the predators, 10 times more than what they spent to get rid of wild horses and burros. If they left the predators alone, nature would take its course and keep the horse population sustainable – as well as the cattle population.
An article published by The Daily Pitchfork entitled “Sustainable Cowboys or Welfare Ranchers of the American West,” contains many more interesting statistics, including the fact that 21,000 ranchers who graze their livestock on Western rangelands are estimated to have cost the taxpayers $500 million in 2014 – and every year for the past decade and that a large number of them are millionaires, billionaires and multi-billion-dollar corporations.
The fee that livestock operators paid a month for an AUM (animal unit month) in 2014 was $1.35 – the lowest price that can legally be charged. The market price to graze on private land is $21.60. Fees set by other federal agencies and individual states on public property are also significantly higher. The majority of this money is spent on range rehabilitation, leaving only approximately $7.9 million going into the Treasury.
It also costs the BLM over $80 million a year to kill predators, that’s $380 per rancher and 10 times that much ($3,809) to get rid of wild horses and burros – with most of them going to slaughter. In the end, special interest welfare (money going to ranchers, EPA, USDA, Dept of Justice and US Army Corp of Engineers) is estimated between $500 million and $1 billion a year.
In 2014, BLM and USFS permit holders paid an estimated $18.5 million in fees to graze 1.14 million livestock units on the 229 million acres of federal land used for grazing. But only a fraction (between 1/3 and ¼) of that actually went into the Treasury. In other words, 2/3 to ¾ of the low fees ranchers pay go back into their pockets. Public land ranchers were paid $376 for what cost taxpayers $6,838 last year.
Click here for article>>
IS THE BLM PLANNING TO KILL 45,000 WILD HORSES & BURROS?
AN ADVISORY BOARD TO BLM HAS RECOMMENDED IT
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 14, 2016
Horses jammed into pens awaiting their slaughter.
Recently I received a press release regarding the BLM rounding up and removing some 45,000 wild horses from their natural habitat over the last 20 years in the interest of allowing privately owned cattle to graze on the public land due to an unsustainable financial burden of keeping the horses alive in their facilities (which they are bound by law to protect) – $49 million in 2015 alone. Since then, articles have come out on Fox News, CNN and even in the Arizona Republic newspaper.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a statement condemning the decision, saying, “The decision of the BLM advisory board to recommend the destruction of the 45,000 wild horses currently in holding facilities is a complete abdication of responsibility for their care. The agency would not be in this situation but for their long-term mismanagement. Alternatives to this proposal have been ignored for over 20 years. It was suggested that mass equine euthanasia is necessitated by the overcrowding of holding facilities.
The nine-member advisory board is appointed by the Secretaries of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture. It is made up of veterinarians and representatives of the public, the livestock industry, wildlife managers and horse advocates. The Board recommends action to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management but does not make policy. Horse advocate and documentary filmmaker Ginger Kathrens cast the only vote against the recommendation of slaughtering the horses.
A visit to SNOPES shows that the BLM itself did not vote to slaughter horses and has yet made a decision on the recommendation that they should do so. They won’t meet again until the spring of 2017. The intent behind the vote was to send a strong message to Washington, D.C., (and horse lovers all over the United States) so that this might happen. Dean Bolstad, Division Chief had been alluding to killing the captive wild horses earlier in the meeting.
As a result, a petition has been originated with signers quickly getting close to 75,000 signatures at press time. The petition says:
“The mass killing of 45,000 wild horses and burros could become reality if the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has its way.
On September 9, 2016 the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recommended killing of captured wild horses and burros as an “emergency” measure. The agency wants to clear the holding pens so that it can round up 40,000 more wild horses and burros from their homes on the range.
Hours before the recommendation, the BLM cancelled cruel sterilization experiments on wild mares amidst growing public outrage and a barrage of lawsuits. Now the agency is focusing on mass killing of these national icons, but can only do so if Congress and the Administration authorize this lethal and heartless plan.
The American people will not stand for this. Tell the Administration and Congress that we want our wild horses and burros protected and preserved on our public lands, not rounded up and killed or sold for brutal slaughter.
This petition will be delivered to:
United States Department of the Interior
U.S. House of Representatives”
Click for petition>>
WHO’S FOR IT AND WHO’S AGAINST?
In June, a meeting for the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands heard from California Congressman Tom McClintock, who argued that wild horses are overpopulated.
Kathrens, director of The Cloud Foundation, explained, “Current management practices of round-up, removal and warehousing … cause compensatory reproduction – an increase in populations as a result of decreased competition for forage.” In other words, there would not be a surge in wild horses if the BLM hadn’t removed most of them from their land in the first place. According to Kathrens, cattle outnumber horses and burros 47 to 1, and livestock (cattle) are allocated 82 percent of the forage.
PREVIOUS ARTICLES ON THIS SUBJECT:
On July 23, 2015, I published factual article written by Rick Dennis in www.allaboutcutting.com that included astounding statistics. Horse Slaughter – Fact & Fiction, not only has economic statistics; it makes one wonder what the real reasons are for getting rid of the wild horses.
An article from the Daily Pitchfork said that 21,000 ranchers who graze their livestock (cattle) on Western rangelands are estimated to have cost the taxpayers $500 million in 2014 – and every year for the past decade and that a number of them are millionaires, billionaires and multi-billion-dollar corporations.
The fee they paid per month for an AUM (animal unit month) in 2014 was $1.35, the lowest price that can legally be charged, as the market prize to graze on private land is $21.60. The majority of this money is spent on range rehabilitation, leaving only approximately $7.9 million going into the U. S. Treasury.
It costs the BLM over $480 million a year to kill predators, $380 per rancher and 10 times that much ($3,809) to get rid of wild horses and burros – with most going to slaughter. In the end, special interest welfare (money going to ranchers, EPA, USDA, Dept of Justice and US Army Corp of Engineers) is estimated between $500 million and $1 billion a year.
In 2014 BLM and United States Forest Service (USFS) permit holders paid an estimated $18.5 million in fees to graze 1.14 million livestock units on the 229 million acres of federal land used for grazing. But only a fraction, between 1/3 and ¼, of that actually went into the Treasury. In other words 2/3 to ¾ of the low fees ranchers pay go back into their pockets. Public land ranchers were paid $376 for what cost taxpayers $6,838 in 2014.
Click for article>>
Another article was published on March 20, 2016 in AllAboutCutting.com, also written by Rick Dennis, entitled “Overbreeding, Over Population, Horse Slaughter: How each affects the Horse Industry.”
Dennis asks if the BLM is breaking the law. “The Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971” requires protection, management and control of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on public lands.”
Incidentally, the cattle ranchers only contribute approximately 2 percent of the overall beef production in the U.S.A. And how is BLM sidetracking the law? In his opinion, this is done by restricting the available land to wild and free-roaming horses and burros, while at the same time, introducing more cattle to fill the void that was previously available to the endogenous species. In other words, they are creating a mathematical shell game to justify their actions at the public’s expense.
Also, most public land grazers are receiving some type of government subsidy checks from the American Taxpayer. The adverse effect to the economy of the U.S. is that these checks are not limited to individually owned ranches but also include major corporations and millionaires and some from other countries who have tapped into loopholes in the system with their own public land leases. Some of these ranchers have adopted the theory that this use of public land is their individual right as they see fit. In reality, these federally protected lands were set aside for the public taxpayers of the United States and the BLM is the overseer – nothing more.
Another item is predator control, with the BLM spending millions of dollars each year on predator control to safeguard cattle on public lands. One of the adverse effects of predator removal is the non-controlling of wild mustangs and burro populations occurring naturally if left untouched by human hands. Simply put, the BLM has been a significant contributing factor in the removal of mustangs and burros by tampering with the natural balance of nature by caving to the demands of cattle ranchers, the beef industry, as well as lobbyists and special-interest groups. Sound familiar?
Click for full article>>
Also many unscrupulous horse dealers are buying these horses (many from the BLM) at pennies on the dollar and then shipping them to Mexico or Canada, where horse slaughter is legal – as well as to many slaughter houses in the United States that have not been closed down. Personally, I’ve looked in the yellow pages and found some of these slaughter plants listed. Even though they are illegal, they’re not even hiding!
However, one should keep in mind that slaughtered horses are not fit for human consumption because of the vast amount of drugs they have consumed in their lifetime. In fact, many drugs consumed by horses have a label saying that they “cause cancer and are unfit for human consumption.”
IS THE BLM AND USFS VIOLATING THE LAW?
On Jan. 9, 2016, Rick Dennis wrote a letter to the Office of the Inspector General in Washington, D.C., about the BLM and U.S. Forest Service actions regarding “The Wild Free-Roaming Horses ad Burros Act of 1971. On their website, the Office of the Inspector General claims their motto is to help prevent fraud, waste and abuse!
Dennis requested a criminal investigation into the abusive actions of the BLM and US. Forest Service, pertaining to their being in violation of The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Dennis said a criminal investigation is warranted not only to save taxpayers dollars but also for the protection of America’s wild herbivore populations being born an living on public land and the punishment of ay federal employee found violating this law.
“They are violating their own rules,” said Dennis.
When asked if he got a response from his letter, Dennis said, “Yes, they called and said ‘They’d look into it.’ ” Rick suggests that the Inspector General be bombarded with calls, letters and e-mails regarding this matter at: Office of the Inspector General, 717 14th Street, N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. phone 202-727-2540, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click for copy of letter to Inspector General>>
With the poor economy and current overpopulation of horses driving down prices all over the country, it’s becoming more of a problem to find rescue facilities or individuals to take these mustangs. But to take away the sight of wild horses from the public to me is criminal. Many people go on vacation to the Western states just to get a sight of these magnificent animals; to me it’s a big part of our Western Heritage! And since it is public land that they are on, as American taxpayers, we should have the right to see them.
But the saddest fact of this whole situation is even worse – but typical: “It’s politics in motion and is all about the money!”
ATTENTION HORSE TRAINERS!!!
CRUEL TRAINING PRACTICES COUD COST YOU LOTS OF MONEY –AND MORE
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 13, 2016
Bella Gunnabe Gifted, a money-earning reining horse, was put down from a basilar skull fracture after being bitted up with a curb bit and left alone in a solid round pen for more than an hour. Trainer Mark Arballo recently settled with the owners for a $160,000 settlement, plus he is servinhg three-years probation and not allowed to triain horses during the sentence.
According to an article on RateMyHorsePro.com, a trainer that three years ago caused the death of a horse he was training recently reached a $160,000 settlement with the horse’s owner. Although the trainer’s settlement is not an admission of liability in civil court, he pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty in March 2015, which is now a felony in all 50 states, and is serving a three-year probation sentence in North Carolina and is not allowed to train horses during his sentence.
Click for FBI article>>
Mark Arballo, an NRHA reining horse trainer who was working as Arballo Reining Horses LLC for Martha Torkinton at her River Valley Ranch, in the County of San Diego, Calif., at the time of the incident, currently resides in the County of Nash, N.C. According to court records it was reported that Arballo’s co-defendant and former partner Patrice Hohl, are believed to be romantically involved.
Arballo, who along with other trainers were permitted to train horses at the River Valley Ranch, joined the group in February 2011. In September 2013, Arballo bitted up 6-year-old Bella Gunnabe Gifted with a curb bit and left her alone in a solid round pen for more than an hour with her head “tied around,” while he taught lessons.
When the mare was discovered, she was unable to get up, had blood in her ear and her eyes moved rapidly back and forth. Bella’s euthanasia ended her suffering and it was a veterinarian’s determination that she had suffered a basilar skull fracture or a broken skull. A basilar skull fracture is a fracture of the basilar bone of the skull, which is part of the floor of the skull that holds the brain, resulting in the cerebral spinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, to leak from the nose or the ear.
Bella, a Paint mare was sired by Colonel’s Smoking Gun, an NRHA Hall of Famer better known as “Gunner,” and like her sire, she had found success in the reining arena. Torkinton said that her eggs would be valuable due to her great pedigree.
In August, the defendants’ dog bit Bella on the nose and in September, they noticed a bump on the mare’s head after a training session, which Arballo denied causing. Torkinton was working on a process to terminate Arballo’s contracts and remove the defendants from the property when the training incident and death of Bella happened.
Even though the defendants tried to add two additional terms regarding a “confidentiality agreement,” Torkinton’s attorney said that “a confidentiality clause that restricts First Amendment rights is anything but standard and was not discussed with the court,” and the defendants did not get their confidentiality clause – but rather got a huge fine.
However, the plaintiffs were responsible for a lien as Torkinton’s property insurance carrier, Markel Insurance Company, asserted a lien for payments made to the Torkintons after the death of Bella.
However, trainers must keep in mind that the court’s decision and the FBI’s felony law on cruelty to animals now has a “set precedent” on cruelty to animals in a training situation.
Rick Dennis wrote a great article for AllAboutCutting.com in the May 15, 2015 issue called “Bridles, Bits and Abuse,” that everyone should read – even if they have read it before. It is an indepth study about the abuse of horses by trainers , including how they do it, what equipment they use and what the horse associations are doing about it.
Following is the one paragraph that I like the best and encompasses the answer to horse abuse:
“The truth of the matter is there are no shortcuts in training a horse – only lazy trainers! To properly train a horse requires hard work, hours-upon-hours of saddle time, wet saddle blankets and devotion to the job at-hand. I know this truth to be self evident, as I’m a judicially certified professional multiple-event reined cow horse trainer. The antiquated abusive training techniques developed over the years by unethical self-professed horse trainers should be prohibited and removed from the industry, along with the trainers practicing these unorthodox and abusive training practices. At my training facility, horses are ridden into submission, not beaten into submission, and trained the right way.”
Click for Bridles, Bits & Abuse>>
DR. MARLIN C, BAKER PASSES AWAY AT 78
A LEGEND IN THE EQUINE INDUSTRY WITH ROOTS IN COLORADO, MINNESOTA AND TEXAS
By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 31, 2016
Dr. Marlin Baker
Photo by Kurtz
Dr. Marlin Clinton Baker passed away quietly on Saturday, Aug. 6, with his family by his side, at his home in Granbury, Texas, at the young age of 78. He wasn’t done with his work in the veterinarian field, but we had to give him up. He was the kindest, most patient veterinarian that I knew and when he took my stallion from me and led him to the barn with his right arm over his back, I realized how much he loved the horses he cared for and how much they trusted him.
Although I had used Dr. Baker previously, I first realized about his caring and deep interest in the horse industry, when he called me one day when I was with Quarter Horse News and had just published the first article written in the industry about HERDA. Dr. Baker told me that he had studied the disease for years and had kept pedigree records on the horses that had been brought to his clinic and had determined it was a genetic disease coming from the Doc Bar line.
Before Baker’s call, I had interviewed Nena Winand, a veterinarian and researcher for Cornell University, who after years of study had come to the educated conclusion that the disease was genetic and came from the line of Poco Lena. I told Dr. Baker about her work, and asked him to go back and check his records, and see if the horses he had seen with the “skin” disease went back to Doc O’Lena, who was by Doc Bar and out of Poco Lena, on their pedigrees, rather than Doc Bar. As it turned out, he checked the pedigrees, and discovered that they all went back to Doc O’Lena.
That was the beginning of a great friendship, as he had been reading my articles about spending the summer at my cabin in the Tarryall mountains in Park County, Colo. Dr. Baker shared with me that he was born and raised just a few miles from my cabin.
Dr. Baker was born on Oct. 24, 1937 in Boulder, Colo., to Victor and Helen Baker. He grew up in the Fairplay, Colo., area, often reminiscing with warm memories about the family homestead. In 1966, he obtained his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and married Marilyn “Kay” Popino. The two of them built a very successful equine veterinary practice together and a family whom they raised to share their love of horses and rodeo.
Dr. Baker was the Instructor of Large Animal Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he stablished Alpha Equine Clinic in Maple Plain, Minn., in 1969 and went on to develop Minnesota Equine Associates with five other veterinarians in 1972.
He came to Weatherford, Texas, in 1977, where he established Alpha Equine Hospital in 1978. It became the first All-Equine group practice and hospital in Parker County
In 1997, he developed a separate entity in Granbury, Texas – Alpha Equine Breeding Center. In 2015 he sold his interest in the Weatherford Hospital to two young veterinarians he had mentored and added a full veterinarian equine clinic at the breeding farm location. During this time, his son, Clint, managed the breeding farm and Kay took care of the books.
Dr. Baker was a 50-year-member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), a member of the Texas Veterinarian Medical Association (TVMA), a member of Society of Therogeneology, as well as a member of the AQHA and NCHA.
The year 2016 marked his 50th anniversary of practicing as an equine veterinarian and also was the 50th wedding anniversary of he and his wife Kay. His legacy was that being a vet was not a job to him but a part of him – his passion. His customers were his friends and he considered his friends his family.”
It seemed that his only other interests besides his family were raising Herefords, being an avid reader and sharing his knowledge. Most will remember him for is integrity – and I can attest to that, as when most veterinarians were giving horses the drugs their trainers wanted them to, he personally told me he didn’t want to be involved in that and refused to do it.
Dr. Baker is survived by his wife and son John Clinton Baker, as well as a daughter Marla Wharton and her husband Shawn; grandchildren Trevor Wharton, Taylor Wharton, Tatum Wharton and Ella Baker; brother Quentin Baker and wife, Pam; nephew Neil Baker; niece Jenny Frueh and countless friends and admirers, as well as his beloved little dog Itchi, who was always the first one to great his customers.
A celebration of life memorial will be held in October and an honorary memorial fund is being formed in lieu of flowers. You can check for more details at www.alphaequine.com.
Some of the information from this article was taken from the Fairplay Flume.
WHY IS JIM BRET CAMPBELL OUT AS NCHA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR?
An editorial by Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 26, 2016
Jim Bret Campbell
An announcement made on the NCHA’s website on Aug. 25 stated, “effective immediately, Jim Bret Campbell is no longer serving as the Executive Director of the NCHA.” It also stated that NCHA President Chuck Smith would be the interim Executive Director until a new Executive Director is hired. The statement, signed by the NCHA Executive Committee, left many questions unanswered.
Click for NCHA press release>>
Why was Campbell leaving without serving out his five-year contract that had previously been told to me was a 5-year, million-dollar contract that started on June 10, 2013? The 2014 NCHA 990 had Jim Bret Campbell receiving $224,827 plus $8,400 from other organizations.
Click for NCHA 2014 990>>
Rumors have been running rampant, and I will attempt to find some answers in the days to come. There has also been some word that some members of the Finance Committee have also resigned. I tried to contact Jim Bret for a statement; however, his wishes are to not talk to me for a couple of days. I also put in a call for Lach Perks, vice chairman of the Finance Committee but so far, no response.
Click for NCHA announcement of Campbell’s hiring>>
I hate to see Jim Bret leave the NCHA as he was the first NCHA Executive Director that had some transparency. Jim Bret was the first Executive Director who was willing to take my phones calls, return my phone calls and answer my questions. I was even invited to go to the NCHA office to go over their tax returns with Jim Bret and the accountants. Jim Bret even held an open meeting for all members when trainers were complaining about the payout at the major aged events.
The only other Executive Director I could also communicate with was the short-lived Executive Director Alan Steen, who lasted 11 weeks on the job and when he left in August 2012, from a lawsuit he filed against NCHA, he received the amount of money that he had invested or lost during his short-term employment in 2012. Steen replaced long-time Executive Director Jeff Hooper, who wouldn’t take or return my phone calls.
Click for Alan Steen article>>
Perhaps some of this upheaval came from finances, but I would think that fault lands with the Finance Committee or Treasurer. The latest IRS 990s that I could get from most of the Western horse organizations was for the 2013-2014 years, as 2015 would not have been filed yet. The NCHA finances were near the bottom of the list, showing a loss of $1,071.447 in 2013 and $484,711 in 2014, up $586,736. However, their net assets were down $493,168 from $6,243,541 in 2013 to $5,750,373 in 2014.
Click for chart of Western horse non-profits>>
Over the years, the NCHA has received millions of dollars from the State of Texas and City of Fort Worth; however, that money, coming from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund, has moved from the State Comptroller’s office to the Governor’s office and according to news reports is being carefully looked over.
Click for article on Texas METF>>
I will try to keep informed if I can find someone who will talk to me.
RFD-TV’S THE AMERICAN RETURNS TO AT&T STADIUM FEB. 19,2017
EVENT FEATURES “THE AMERICAN” & “IRON COWBOY”
Press Release from RFD-TV
Aug. 26, 2016
RFD-TV founder and owner, Patrick Gottsch and Sean Gleason, CEO of the PBR, recently announced a long-term three-year plan for The American rodeo event, which returns to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Feb. 19, 2017. The agreement with the PBR and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium ensures the future of the world’s richest one-day rodeo event. The American, known as the word’s richest one-day rodeo, features pro athletes competing alongside amateur cowboys for a prize purse worth more than $2 million. Prior to the Finals, the American Semi-Finals, will be held on Feb. 15-17, 2017 at the Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas, and includes a purse of almost $500,000. The three events will continue to make history with record-breaking payouts totaling around $3 million and offers athletes a chance to make the kind of winnings they don’t often see in other professional rodeo and bull riding competitions.
“It started three years ago with the great idea to have the richest one-day rodeo … with all the champions in one place. We had a great three-year run and we’ve always had a good relationship with the PBR, but they’ve really stepped it up now with Randy moving on with Garth Brooks. A three-year agreement with the PBR and The Dallas Cowboys for AT&T Stadium is a big deal for us,” said RFD-TV Founder and Owner Patrick Gottsch. “I see this event evolving to make this event a destination place to enjoy western sports. This is our biggest day of the year and we want to expand and improve that. With PBR’s involvement, I’m confident that we can do that.”
Sean Gleason, CEO of the PBR said, “It’s a big weekend in Texas. You’re guaranteed to see the best cowboys and bull riders in the world in every discipline. The Iron Cowboy had been around for seven years before we added The American. The American just made it a destination event … something really unique and special. The Iron Cowboy is one of our major events and one of the most important stops in the [PBR] tour. Adding The American to the event just blows it up. It’s a must see event now for everybody.”
Since its debut in 2014, The American has invited the top 10 rodeo athletes in the world in seven events to compete at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. With this unique “open” format, anyone can qualify for this prestigious event through a series of qualifiers in partnership with five sanctioning organizations. The partner organizations include Professional Bull Riders (PBR), United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC), Ultimate Calf Roping (UCR), Better Barrel Racing, and World’s Toughest Rodeo.
Official ticket sales begin on Aug. 26 and start at $20. For a limited time, pre-sale tickets can be purchased using the promo code: BULL. The PBR and The American are also offering a discount combo ticket for both events with a savings of up to $50 on the weekend event. All tickets can be found on Ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.
For more info about RFD-TV’s The American, please visit americanrodeo.com.