Meet The Barrel Racers and Horses Running at The American Rodeo 2023

The American Rodeo will feature the top five barrel racers from the 2022 WPRA World Standings and the top five from The Contender Series format. Get to know the horses and riders in attendance.
Latricia Duke runs home from the third barrel at The American Contender Finals.
DM High Roller and Latricia Duke. Image by RC Photography.

Hundreds threw their name in the hat and ran their hearts out, but on Saturday, March 11 all bets are off: the top five from the Contender Series will go head-to-head against the top five professionals in the world agaisnt the highest odds to make up the field of The American Rodeo barrel racers.

What’s at Stake?

For the athletes who advanced through The American Contender Series—meaning a series of contests from their local regions, to surviving The American Contender Finals at Globe Life Field—there’s a chance at $1.1 million.

For the top five professionals who qualified by way of the 2022 WPRA World Standings, the maximum prize is $100,000.

Why the difference in potential payout?

The American Rodeo on March 11 pays a maximum of $100,000 for the event win, but there’s a sidepot wil $1 million for Contender athletes. Any contenders that win their respective event automatically get a piece of that sidepot and split it with any other Contenders who win. So, if one of the five barrel racing Contender qualifiers wins The American Rodeo and professionals win in the other seven events, they will go home with $1.1 million.

How Do I Watch The American Rodeo in 2023?

Meet the Contenders

Tamara Barnhart

Hometown: Athol, Idaho

Horse: Guys Sweet Design

Tamara Barnhart turns a barrel at The American Rodeo.
Tamara Barnhart and Guys Sweet Design topped The American Contender Finals on March 09. Image by RC Photography.
Guys sweet design pedigree
Originally purchased to resell, “Lucy” has proved her staying power to Barnhart.

Sherry Cervi

Hometown: Marana, Arizona

Horse: MP Ray Of Fame

Sherry Cervi competes in barrel racing.
Sherry Cervi and MP Ray of Fame won second in the Contender Finals. Image by RC Photography.
MP Ray of Fame pedigree

Latricia Duke

Hometown: Bellville, Texas

Horse: DM High Roller “Vanilla Wafer”

Latricia Duke runs home from the third barrel at The American Contender Finals.
DM High Roller and Duke. Image by RC Photography.
DM High Roller Pedigree

Bayleigh Choate

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

Horse: Hail To Be Famous “Dash”

Bayleigh Choate turns the second barrel in sparkly tack.
Choate and Hail To Be Famous, “Dash.” Image by RC Photography.

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Jimmie Smith-Tew

Hometown: McDade, Texas

Horse: A Valiant Nicky “Nicky”

Jimmie Smith-Tew and Nicky turn the second barrel at The American Contender Finals.
Smith-Tew and A Valiant Nicky. Image by RC Photography.

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A Valiant Nicky pedigree

Who are they up against?

Looking to offset the Contenders’ chances at $1.1 million are the top five athletes from the 2022 WPRA World Standings. Click to learn more about each barrel racer.

* Denotes 2022 The American Rodeo Champion