Just-crowned PRCA World Champion team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira competed at the WCRA Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 16, 2021, where they continued their hot streak with a first-performance winning 4.69-second run, worth $1,600 a man.
“I just tried to make a run,” Nogueira said. “I don’t know how to explain it. With a small setup like the NFR—maybe even smaller—we just tried to make a run. We were last out and knew what we had to do to win the round. That helps a lot. Kaleb did a good job.”
The round win was a money bonus for the team as they were already seeded to the Showdown Round on Saturday, Dec. 18, from their No.1 lead on the WCRA leaderboard.
Because Driggers and Nogueira were already slated to compete in the Showdown Round, that opened the door for Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp to advance with a 5.31-second run and the third-place team of Jason Burson and Corey Hendrick to advance with a 5.33-second run.
“The game plan was to win the round because we were already seeded,” Nogueira said. “We needed to win the round for the go-round money.”
Driggers headed on a brown gelding he got from 2020 World Champion Header Colby Lovell. Nogueira heeled on a 7-year-old, black heel horse that came from his homecountry of Brazil.
“I rode a young horse because my horse didn’t make it back in time,” Nogueira said. “It worked out pretty good.”
With a few days to regroup and prepare for the Showdown Round, Nogueira is planning on staying on top of the leaderboard and heeling down for a WCRA Cowtown Christmas Championship title.
“We’re going to try and win it,” Nogueira said. “The WCRA is a pretty good rodeo and pays pretty good. We nominated a bunch of rodeos, that is why we are No.1 on the leaderboard.”