Motes wins title, sidepot at American

By Brett Hoffman | Published Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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Ryan Motes represents the majority of world class rodeo competitors who chip away at qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas by earning numerous checks throughout the year.

This past weekend, Motes, a four-time NFR team roping qualifier from Weatherford, wrangled $433,333 in total earnings at The RFD-TV’s The American at AT&T Stadium in Arlington after winning the team roping heeling title.

“If we can win $4,000 or $5,000, we are having a really good rodeo,” Motes said. “But to come over here and win [more than] $433,000, this is really a great rodeo.”

The American offered competitors $2.35 million, a world record payoff for a two-day rodeo.

Motes pocketed one of The American’s larger payouts because he was among three competitors who pocketed a share of the $1 million “sidepot” that was within the $2.35 million purse. The riders who were eligible for the sidepot money were competitors who didn’t finish high in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association/Women’s Professional Rodeo Association standings last year and had to earn a berth in The American through a qualifying system.

The other two $433,333 winners were Motes’ team roping partner Coleman Proctor of Pryor, Okla., and Joao Ricardo Vieira of Decatur who clinched the bull riding title.

Motes, Proctor and Vieira split the $1 million. Each cowboy earned $333,333 plus $100,000 that goes to the winner of each of the other main rodeo events.

The other $100,000 winners were bareback rider Orin Larsen, saddle bronc rider Ryder Wright, steer wrestler Ty Erickson, tie-down roper Caleb Smidt, barrel racer Hailey Kinsel and break-away roper Madison Outhier.

For the first time, the American’s individual event results counted toward NFR qualifying.

Motes entered The American ranked sixth in the PRCA’s team roping heeling world title race with $17,665. But after earning $50,000, his 2019 earnings jumped to more than $67,000.

Motes and Proctor clinched The American’s team roping title with a finals time of 4.24 seconds. Riley Minor and Brady Minor finished second with a 4.75.

Vieira, a Brazilian native who lives in the Decatur area, clinched the bull riding title with a score of 87 aboard a bovine named Soup In A Group. He was the only cowboy who made a qualified ride in the four-man final round.

Vieira is on a roll. On Feb. 23, he pocketed $146,000 for winning the Professional Bull Riders’ Iron Cowboy title in Los Angeles.

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