The American Performance Horseman FAQs

Teton Ridge is a multi-platform, wholly American-owned brand and media company devoted to the iconic American western way of life; dedicated to elevating classic Western sports and America’s western culture on the world stage.

In 2021, Teton Ridge acquired The American Rodeo, The Crown Jewel of Rodeo, with the vision to expand the audience and create innovative events like The Western Weekend, which includes The American Performance Horseman. On the eve of The American Rodeo—Friday, March 10—at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, The American Performance Horseman will premiere.

This unprecedented event will showcase western equine sports of cutting, reining, and reined cow horse in a fast-paced, made for television exhibition. This historic event will be the first time the associations NCHA, NRHA, NRCHA, APHA & AQHA have joined together to compete under one roof.

The innovative exhibition format offers all three sports to be showcased to a wider audience and on a new global platform, vying for $1 Million dollars in the prize pool. Not only will competitors contend as individuals but also in a team format. There will be 5 teams consisting of three athletes from each discipline.

Tickets are now available at

Q: What will be the order of events?

A: The competition order will run as follows:

  1. Cutting competition
  2. Reining, using an NRHA-approved modified pattern 10
  3. The Reined Cow Horse performance will close out the event with “down the fence” runs.
    1. (The Reining portion of the Reined Cow Horse event will be done in the morning to ensure complete scoring. This section will not be televised.)
  4. Presentation of awards
  5. Entertainment (Yet to be announced – Will be an A-Lister entertainer)

Q: What will the payout be of the $1 Million prize pool?

Individual Prize Money per discipline event:

  1. $100,000
  2. $75,000
  3. $50,000
  4. $25,000
  5. $25,000

Team Money:

  1. $75,000 ($25,000 PER CONTESTANT)
  2. $25,000 ($8,333.33 PER CONTESTANT)
  3. $25,000($8,333.33 PER CONTESTANT)
  4. $25,000($8,333.33 PER CONTESTANT)
  5. $25,000($8,333.33 PER CONTESTANT)

Q: What will the earnings count towards?

A: NCHA: TAPH does not count towards: NCHA world standings, horse of the year, or any other championships.

NRHA: Does not count toward Top 10 (Category 1) World Title awards.

NRCHA: Currently, category 2 earnings count toward year-end earnings. TAPH counts only open-aged event money won in the 2022 year, incentive program monies or subclasses do not count.

TAPH will count towards horse and rider’s LTEs.

Q: Can the competitor show any horse?

A: NCHA – Competitors can show any horse of any age. The TAPH is classified as an Open Cutting.

NRHA – Competitors can show any horse of any age. The TAPH is classified as an Open Reining class.

NRCHA – Yes, however, the TAPH is classified as an open bridle class. Per NRCHA Rules: Open to horses of any age, to be ridden in an NRCHA-approved bit, and reins with a romal are required.

Q: When will the athletes need to name their show horse?

A: Competitors can name up to two horses prior to February 7th, 2023.

Final selection of horses will take place one week prior to the competition on March 3rd, 2023.

Q: How did the athletes qualify to compete at The American Performance Horseman?

A: The qualification is based on the open rider, not the horse. The qualified riders are the Top 5 athletes with the highest aged event money from the 2022 show season, not including subclasses or incentives. For NRHA, all money earned in Category 1–10 counts toward qualifying.

Q: Is there any entry fee to compete?

A: No

Q: What is the team portion of the competition?

A: Five teams of one cutter, one reiner, and one reined cow horse competitor will compete in a team format and for individual prize money.

The accumulative score of each rider on a team will determine the placings of the team portion of the competition.

i.e. Reining score + Cutting score + Reined Cow Horse score = Team Score

Team Colors: Royal Blue, Regal Red, Imperial Purple, Racing Green, and Burnt Orange

Q: In the event of a tie, will there be a tiebreaker?

A: Individual Competition – In the event of a tie, a work-off will not be held and a tiebreaker will be used to determine the winner.

Tiebreaker one: All five judges’ scores will be added to determine the winner

Tiebreaker two: If still tied, the tiebreaker judge will determine the winner

*Within the reined cow horse competition, the first tiebreaker will be determined by the highest cow work score. If still tied, tiebreakers one and two will be used to break the tie.

B: Team Competition

Tiebreaker One: All five judges’ scores in each of the individual competitions will be added to determine the winning team.

If still tied, the scores from the tiebreaker judges from each of the individual competitions will be added together to determine the champion team.

If still tied, a coin toss will determine the champion team.

Q: Globe Life Field will be transformed into a show arena. How will that work for each discipline?

A: The field will be transformed into a 150 ft x 250 ft arena; after each discipline, the arena will be adjusted accordingly to suit the next discipline.

Q: When will the draw be available?

A: The draw party will be shared live on NRHA social media and will be available on February 10, 2023.

Q: How are the judges chosen?

A: There will be a 5-judge panel from each association for each corresponding discipline. Each association will provide the highest accredited judges from each discipline.

Q: In the event that one of the competitors is unable to compete, what is the protocol?

A: In the event that a competitor chooses to or is not able to compete in the event, it is their responsibility to notify event organizers with little or no delay upon their decision to withdraw.

If a Top 5 American Performance Horseman qualifier withdraws from the competition, event organizers will notify the first alternate on the list of 2022 Top Professionals provided by the event’s respective governing association. If the first alternate declines, the next highest alternate will be notified.

Q: How will the teams be chosen?

A: There will be five teams of three.

Each team will consist of a cutter, reiner, and reined cow horse athlete. Teams will be drawn at random. Draw order will be segregated by discipline and ordered starting with the highest year-end money earner.