February 17, 2017

RFD-TV's THE AMERICAN presented by Polaris RANGER brings people across the country together all in the name of rodeo. But as Amy Wilson reports, sometimes rodeo is more than one run or one ride.  Sometimes, it's about making dreams come true.

Barrel racer Jimmy Bryant's journey to THE AMERICAN started with a dare to wear tie-dye.  "There was a little girl there that says, 'Hey Jimmy, if you make it to THE AMERICAN again, would you wear tie dye?'" Bryant explains.

Now, his outfit is ready. And while he hopes to leave Texas with $1 million, this competition has nothing to do with personal glory. "I thought how can I do this and help people," Bryant says, "and then Make-A-Wish come to mind and it just blew up after that."

In less than 30 days, Bryant raised $16,000 for the Make-A-Wish organization.  But it's Bryant's own efforts that will grant one future cowboy his wish.

Brantley Morren is a four-year-old leukemia survivor who Bryant brought to Texas to see THE AMERICAN -- pulling out all the stops, including a limo ride from the airport.

"He's a tough little kid," says Bryant, "and if he ever needs me, he knows I"m here."  Whether or not Bryant leaves the arena a winner, we know there's at least one rodeo fan who already considers Jimmy Bryant a champion.

Bryant will be competing again in Cowtown Coliseum during the American Semi-Finals tonight.  If he finishes in the Top 10, he will have punched his ticket to Sunday and will be eligible for a $1 million payday.