The National Reining Horse Association Joins Inaugural Competition The American Performance Horseman
Expanding on its commitment to elevate and positively impact the Western industry, NRHA Corporate Partner Teton Ridge has unveiled an unprecedented new event — The American Performance Horseman (TAPH). The first-of-its-kind competition will make its debut on March 10 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, during The American Rodeo.
For the first time ever, the top five highest-earning professionals for the year in reining, reined cow horse and cutting will come together to compete for a $1 million payout in a competitive exhibition format. The American Rodeo will provide a global stage for the athletes of each discipline to compete for individual prize money, as well as a purse for unique teams comprised of a reiner, cutter and cow horse rider.
TAPH is a prestigious competitive exhibition supported by NRHA, as well as the American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association and National Cutting Horse Association. These leading industry organizations are excited to have their respective sports celebrated and showcased to the world in this unparalleled and innovative format.
The TAPH riders will consist of the top five individuals from each discipline with the highest year-end show earnings from the 2022 season, as tracked by each association. The standings will be finalized and announced following each discipline’s main Futurity.
The reiners selected will be the top five NRHA Professionals determined by total 2022 earnings in NRHA Categories 1-10. TAPH will utilize a modified version of pattern No. 10 with one fewer large fast circle in each direction. Earnings for the event will be recorded in NRHA as Category 11 money.
Fusing the elements of history and competition, TAPH is an ode to the past, present and future of Western performance horse sports. Riders will compete for team and individual prize money, but most importantly, a prestigious championship as part of The American Rodeo in Arlington.
“The American Rodeo is an unrivaled celebration of the American West and represents the richest weekend in all of Western sports,” said Joe Loverro, president of Teton Ridge Sports. “As Teton Ridge continues to make great strides to bring the iconic events in the Western industry to a broader audience on an elevated platform, it was only natural to create an event to pay homage to the most prestigious competitors in Western performance sports and their incredible equine athletes.”
TAPH is the creation and vision of Teton Ridge. It exists to elevate Western equine sports through multiple platforms, with innovative and interactive technology.
“For years we have talked about taking reining to the ‘next level’ in an abstract sense,” NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter said. “Now we can clearly see it at Globe Life Field in March of 2023.”
The American 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the world’s richest rodeo, and TAPH will offer fans a groundbreaking new way to embrace and support the legacy of the American West on the eve of the rodeo.
The Big House
Along with an innovative new format, TAPH will also bring reining to Globe Life Field for the first time ever. The facility, which hosted the 2020 National Finals Rodeo, has a seating capacity of more than 40,000 — nearly four times the seats available in Oklahoma State Fair Park’s Jim Norick Coliseum.
At Globe Life Field, fans and athletes will be immersed in arena-wide action with a multitude of entertainment offerings. The venue will provide reiners with an unprecedented platform to showcase their sport. Along with TAPH, events will include a star-studded music performance, a Western festival, The American Contender Tournament finals, the Contender Tournament Wild Card and more.
“This move to Globe Life Field is focused on providing fans and athletes a genuinely immersive, never-been-done Western sports and culture celebration at one, world-class location,” Loverro said. “Since acquiring The American Rodeo last year, our ambition at Teton Ridge has been to elevate Western sports to a national stage and build out this iconic event to live up to its namesake as the crown jewel of rodeo. We are thrilled to work with our incredible partners at the City of Arlington, the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Globe Life Field as we celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary.”
Globe Life Field, a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue, was built as a public-private partnership between the City of Arlington and the Texas Rangers, who made the facility their home stadium in 2020. Measuring at 1.8 million square feet with a 5.5-acre retractable roof, Globe Life Field hosts numerous large-scale national and regional events throughout the year.
“Globe Life Field was designed to host major groundbreaking events, and The American Rodeo encompasses exactly that. Not only does Teton Ridge produce world-class events showcasing the Western lifestyle, they are also dedicated to bringing another level of entertainment to the rodeo,” said Sean Decker, president of REV Entertainment. “Our goal is to fill the calendar with thrilling events that bring new fans to Globe Life Field, and this event will not only bring rodeo enthusiasts to the area, but also entertainment seekers.”
For more information on TAPH and to sign up for the 2023 ticket wait list, visit americanrodeo.com.