Wylee Mitchell and her horse Smokey Gold “Jack” traveled to Buckeye, Ariz. on Dec. 29, where she competed against over 250 contestants.
On Saturday, the 31st they ran against some tough competition. All of these contestants had their sights set on qualifying for the American semi-finals in Fort Worth, Texas. With only taking the top ten contestants, Mitchell knew she had to be smoking fast. They succeeded in being fast. They had a great run on Saturday running a 17.045, placing her seventh and earning her a spot to the American semi-finals. The girl who won the race on Saturday had just competed at the 2016 NFR. Her time was a 16.830.
On Sunday, Mitchell and her horse amazed again. They ran a 16.814. This time not only won the race on Sunday but also was the fastest time ran the whole week. She and Jack will compete in Fort Worth at the stockyards on Feb. 14 to 19. This year the semi-finals has a bonus side pot of $500,000, bringing the total added money to $1 million. I am so proud of this team. Mitchell has worked so hard to accomplish her goals.
The RFD American Rodeo is held at the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas. This is the world’s richest one-day rodeo, the added money this year is over $2 million. The rules are that all the contestants that qualified in the barrel racing have a chance to compete at the Stockyards in Fort Worth in the semi-finals. There are over 150 contestants that have qualified. The first go will be held on Feb. 14 and all 150 will run. They take the top 30 to the next round. Of the top 30 you have to place in the top five to run in the American on Feb. 19. If Mitchell makes the top five she will have a chance to run for $1 million.
She will be running against the best in the world. Her mother has a message for her. “She will always be my hero! GOOD LUCK IN TEXAS WYLEE & JACK! WE LOVE YOU!”