Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira will reignite their partnership, starting this weekend at RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals; while National Finals Rodeo average champs Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp will start roping together at Arcadia, Florida’s ProRodeo, officially kicking off their partnership at the 2021 Bob Feist Invitational.
“We had a lot of success together and we’d done everything and won everything together except for the World,” Driggers, who’s roped at eight NFRs but missed the cut in 2020, said. “We were going to see if we could pull it off apart but that obviously didn’t go well for us. I’m excited to get back together. We have a good time rodeoing together outside the arena. We have the same morals, dreams and goals. He started a family and has a little girl so that will be a little bit different, but it will be good. I wish those guys the best—I think it will all go smooth.”
Snow and Thorp—who won the 2019 NFR average title en route to Thorp’s gold buckle before ending their partnership in 2020—are also geared up to be back together.
“We rope good together and our styles seem to fit,” Thorp said. “We’re both excited about it, and Kaleb and Junior rope so well together, so it really makes sense.”
All four have remained second partners throughout the last 12 months, with Driggers and Nogueira seeing big success in the jackpot arena, including a win in the Open the 2020 USTRC’s National Finals presented by Cinch.
“I’ve been working at it very hard,” Driggers said. “I quit going to the slide ropings and smaller stuff. I still go quite a bit, more than most people, but hadn’t been just after it all the time every day all day. I thought those slides were taking away from my roping, making me not as sharp. But these past six months, I’ve been back at it working real hard. I’m trying to stay in the loop and get back on top of my game. I didn’t rope my best last year for Petska and didn’t rope as good as I could have. It made me so mad—I knew I was better than that but I didn’t perform better than that. I’ve been working hard and running a bunch of steers every day and have a bunch of good horses. I’m taking every day serious. I was aggravated at myself.”
While Snow and Nogueira had a good year in 2020, Nogueira is excited for the chance to rope with Driggers again.
“God has a plan,” Nogueira, the 2016 All-Around World Champ, said. “I am excited to see if we can do it again. We have always had good luck together for so long. He’s very business savvy and very smart and always has the best horses he can. If you want to win, you have to try to be the best. We were close for a few years. We did really, really good. The only thing we didn’t win was a gold buckle. We always had a good Finals. I’m happy—I like roping with that guy.” TRJ