Professional bull rider Cole Melancon is the second Lamar County local that will be competing at the upcoming RFDTV The American competition this weekend at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
“It means a lot to have this opportunity. You are riding for life-changing money. Not to mention it’s the biggest rodeo of the year,” he said. “So to have that opportunity to add your name to the group of people that have won this rodeo would be awesome.”
RFD–TV’s The American is known as “the world’s richest one-day rodeo” and pays out $2.5 million annually through a series of qualifiers, The Semi-Finals, and the final event, RFD-TV’s The American. The event, held at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, unites the top athletes in the world from the PRCA, WPRA, and PBR world standings and pits them against underdogs who advance from The American Semi-Finals, together to battle for the biggest single paycheck of their lives.
Melancon, who has been competing since he was 4-years old, has already seen plenty of accomplishments in the arena and is hoping to add another win to that list this weekend.
The already two-time National Finals Rodeo (PRCA) qualifier recently competed in the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Cup challenge in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 15, and finished in third place overall helping team USA take the win on home soil.
However, unlike fellow rodeo competitor Katie White, who is competing in the breakaway roping, Melancon’s qualifying journey was a little different.
“I qualified in Ft Worth. It’s a little different for the bull riding. We just go straight to the semi-finals, which was this past week in Ft Worth,” he explained. “ This will be the second time that I have made the American. I’m just looking forward to redeeming myself this year. My first year didn’t go as planned.”
Since his 2016 debut at The American, Melancon says having competed on the hallowed ground at AT&T Stadium with the PBR less than a month before this weekend’s competition has helped settle the nerves as he gets set to ride in front of millions of rodeo fans worldwide.
Currently ranked #6 in the world with the PBR and #22 in the PRCA Xtreme Bull Riding standings, Melancon is undoubtedly no stranger to the big events when it comes to his sport, though The American will be his first actual big event of the 2020 rodeo season.
“The only big rodeo that I have competed in lately would be Ft Worth’s rodeo, although I’ve also had the opportunity to compete in Los Angeles for the PBR Iron Cowboy,” he said.
With six years on the professional circuit, finishing in the top 20 in the world with the PRCA for the 2019 season, Melancon has made stable earnings over the years. Though as any bull rider will tell you, it’s undoubtedly a tough road to get down and to have the chance to walk out of this weekend’s competition with a hefty share of $1 million would be more than just a dream come true.
Looking forward, he said his biggest goal heading into the rounds is keeping God first and always maintaining a positive outlook no matter what the final outcome may be.
PHOTO: Jackie Jensen Photography-Professional Rodeo Photographer