Hicks Thomas LLP is currently representing Reese Riemer, a rodeo professional from Stinnett, Texas, in a lawsuit against RFD-TV and its affiliated entities RMG Events of Nashville, Tennessee and Rural Media Group Inc. of Gretna, Nebraska after they refused to pay his winnings from 2015’s The American rodeo competition.
Advertised as the largest one-day rodeo in history, RFD-TV’s The American was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 1, 2015. A sum of $100,000 in prize money was guaranteed to winners in each individual competition. Unique to this event, The American also guaranteed an additional $1 million from a “side pot” for event winners who qualified through preliminary competitions. Mr. Riemer, a tie-down roper, was one of two qualifiers to share in this additional sum at the conclusion of the competition.
After the event, Mr. Riemer was flown to Nashville for interviews with the network. Afterwards, he was informed by officials that a stop payment had been placed on the check for his winnings. According to the lawsuit, RFD-TV relied on rumors that an agreement had allegedly been made to split the purse. Mr. Riemer reported that he and other competitors had been threatened with stop payments and even jail time by the network’s CEO.
Although Mr. Riemer has been publicly acknowledged by the network as the winner of the event, RFD Network has still failed to pay him his winnings. According to Attorney John B. Thomas, there is “no legal justification” for this failure, nor is there any evidence that Mr. Riemer agreed to share the proceeds or engage in any other form of wrongdoing.
The case is Reese Riemer v. Rural Media Group, et al, No. 2:16-cv-00031-J, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Amarillo.
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