Driggers and RR Shiners Fame Get Royal Crown Heading Derby Win, Woods and Hard Rey Take Heeling Title

Both Driggers and Woods placed no lower than second in every round of the Royal Crown Derby on RR Shiners Fame and Hard Rey, respectively.

Kaleb Driggers and RR Shiners Fame and Zack Woods and Hard Rey both stood out from the pack with their impressive wins in the Royal Crown Derby Heading and Heeling in Buckeye, Arizona, Feb. 14. 

Full Royal Crown Roping Results

Driggers and his 2014 Lions Share Of Fame gelding won second in the third round, worth $500, won the second round for $1,000 and was second in the first round for another $500. For the average win, Driggers and RR Shiners Fame won $2,400, while owners of Lions Share Of Fame took home $1,080 and breeder Lance Mar Inderman got another $1,080.

“I bought him as a 4-year-old from Tyler and Kelsey Schaffner of the Roadrunner Ranch,” Driggers said. “They had a good foundation on the horse had spun 30 steers approximately on him and Kelsey had put him on the barrel pattern. So he was an easy make, he has been so easy from there very beginning. He has always wanted to score good and for as fast as he is, he makes it really easy to rope the horns on because of his natural rate. He has a really good move and a very good finish. Loping him around it’s like loping in a rocking chair. I’ve always loved riding him.” 

Driggers sold him in January 2021 to friend Michael Smith, and Smith decided to let Driggers show him in Buckeye, in a setting that provided a unique challenge for the newly crowned World Champ. 

“I have struggled with showing horses in the past and have been working really hard to figure out what the judges are looking for,” Driggers said. “But it all came together in Buckeye. I was pleased with the way my horses worked. I still have a lot of work to get to where I want to be, but it was a far cry better than I had been doing. I’m used to more of a jackpot-style run, and that’s not exactly what they are usually looking for.”

Zack Woods and Hard Rey Lexi Smith Media Courtesy Royal Crown

Woods and his 2015 Dual-Rey gelding won second in Rounds 1 and 2 and won the third round for a $1,000, and they won the average for another $1,800 with a short-round run of 127.84. Dual Rey’s owners won $810 and breeder Kathleen Moore got another $810. 

Woods—who won the average at the Prairie Circuit Finals this fall and made the short round of the WCRA’s Cowtown Showdown in December—just bought the horse a few months ago from Trevor Brazile and Miles Baker’s Relentless Remuda. Baker bought him as a long 3-year-old from Austin Johnson, who’d prepared him in the cow horse.

“He got hurt so they gave him time off, and then they were just turning back on him,” Baker said. “Trevor was supposed to look at him, but Austin told him he wasn’t for everybody. Then I ended up with him when I was riding for the public. He’d try to spin out from under you and hump up. He’s just an outlaw—he was tough on the ground and he still is. You could go anywhere and do anything on him. He’s a tough, cowboy, outlaw sucker.”

Watch More on Hard Rey: The Benefits of Riding a Cowboy-Type Horse 

Brazile and Baker ended up partners on the horse after a few trades, and Brazile rode him at the 2021 BFI. Woods, who works for Baker and day works for a living, had watched the horse long enough and decided he needed to own him since he and Baker were going to rodeo a bit in 2022. 

“Honestly, I knew Miles had him since he was a 3-year-old, and I always liked him and always wanted him,” Woods said. “He finally said he’d sell him one day, and I bought him as soon as I could. I like everything about him.”

Woods and Hard Rey were a 506.35, marking the highest score of the entire weekend at the Royal Crown.

“He worked how he always works, because that’s just what Miles does to them,” Woods said. “I literally just told him in another year I’ll need him to train me another one because I win more money on his horses than I do my own. He’s a cowboy horse. He’s graduated past the ranch rodeos, but if I needed to I would take him to a ranch rodeo. You can do anything you want to on him, and I’m going to ride him and my sorrel on him at the rodeos this year—whichever I think will work best at a particular rodeo. I’ll ride Sancho at Colorado Springs because it’s an average deal and I need to catch him. He’s a little bit more forgiving.” TRJ