Picking Up Where They Left Off: Driggers, Nogueira Win 2023 Reno Rodeo
Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira wasted no time gearing up for the Fourth run, winning the 2023 Reno Rodeo with 18.4 seconds on three head.
Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira roping their steer in the short round at the 2023 Reno Rodeo.
Driggers and Nogueira get the 2023 Reno Rodeo win with 18.4 seconds on three head. Photo by Click Thompson.

In 2022, Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira broke records with their Fourth-of-July run, and this year they’ve picked up where they left off, winning the 2023 Reno Rodeo with an aggregate of 18.4 seconds on three head.

Last summer, the reigning world champions both took home $35,152 once the Fourth of July wrapped up, the most anyone has taken home over Cowboy Christmas in the team roping alone. And while the Fourth run is just kicking off this year, Driggers and Nogueira look as if an entire year hasn’t passed, building off last year’s momentum.

“We haven’t rodeoed much since the winter; we took April and May off from the rodeos,” Driggers, 33, said. “I went to a lot of futurities with my colts, and Junior was able to go back home to Brazil and see family. We needed a little break from rodeo, and now we are recharged and ready to rodeo hard the rest of year.”

READ: Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira Put Together the Richest *Team Roping* Fourth of July in History. Here’s How.

Driggers and Nogueira roped both of their long-round steers Monday, June 19, 2023. They tied for second in the first round with a 4.9, worth $4,959 per man. In the second round, which they roped that evening, their 5.8-second run finished them fifth in the round, each taking home $2,948. They were also up in the first-ever Bob Tallman Invitational roping that same day where they won the second, third and short round.

“We roped at the rodeo and the roping the same day, and I like it because you kind of get in a groove of competing,” Driggers said. “We are a long ways out of the lead and just trying to take each steer for what he is and win as much as possible.”

Coming back high call Saturday night, Driggers—who was riding his main jackpotting mount Oliver—and Nogueira were 7.7 on their final steer to win second in the round and $1,128 a man. Their 18.4 seconds on three head pocketed them both $9,247 and brought their Reno winnings to a total of $18,282. The energy that encompasses the Biggest Little City in the World made for an exciting win the for the team, Driggers’ second and Nogueira’s first.

“That is a special rodeo,” Driggers said. “It kind of kick starts the summer. The crowd is always huge and fun, the payoff is great and it is a three-header. We don’t have a lot of those anymore and I really enjoy them.”

The icing on the cake? Driggers was able to experience the short-round excitement with his wife Nicole who made it back in the barrel racing.

“I watch all the hard work that Nicole puts into it and how bad she wants it,” Driggers said. “So, to be able to see her hard work coming to fruition, it is special for me to be able to be there for her and do what we love together.”

Driggers and Nogueira both have $63,494.55 won on the year, putting Driggers in the No. 4 spot of the world standings and Nogueira in the No. 3 spot on the heeling side. And as they kick it into high gear for Cowboy Christmas and the summer run, they’re praying for blessings all around. 

“We are entered up over the Fourth pretty good, all of July, really,” Driggers said. “A lot of rodeos are stepping up and adding really good money for us which is great now that everything is getting so expensive. We just pray for safety not only for us and our animals but for everyone traveling and competing as well. And to try and do our jobs the best way that we can.”

Catch more updates here at The Team Roping Journal as the Fourth-of-July run keeps rolling. Our coverage of the ProRodeo world standings is presented all year by CSI Saddlepads: Custom designed saddle pads, made for you and for the horse. Manufactured in the U.S.A.

PRCA World Standings

As of June 26, 2023.

1Rhen Richard$92,347.42 
2Andrew Ward$68,792.99 
3Nelson Wyatt$67,541.44 
4Kaleb Driggers$63,494.55 
5Dustin Egusquiza$59,893.31 
6Cody Snow$46,658.98 
7J.C. Yeahquo$45,644.95 
8Tanner Tomlinson$42,302.02 
9Marcus Theriot$40,450.64 
10Derrick Begay$37,075.16 
11Jr. Dees$36,049.10 
12Keven Daniel$35,242.43 
13Coy Rahlmann$35,160.26 
14Clay Smith$33,332.10 
15Jake Clay$33,207.65 
16Riley Minor$32,792.14 
17Luke Brown$32,468.47 
18Erich Rogers$30,486.29 
19Brenten Hall$29,140.40 
20Dawson Graham$29,118.29 
1Jeremy Buhler$92,347.42 
2Buddy Hawkins$68,792.99 
3Junior Nunes Nogueira$63,494.55 
4Levi Lord$59,893.31 
5Justin Davis$55,529.87 
6Wesley Thorp$45,801.91 
7L.J. Yeahquo$45,644.95 
8Patrick Smith$42,302.02 
9Billie Jack Saebens$41,737.80 
10Travis Graves$41,538.62 
11Cole Curry$40,450.64 
12Ross Ashford$36,049.10 
13Jonathan Torres$35,376.98 
14Brady Minor$32,792.14 
15Hunter Koch$32,468.47 
16Colter Todd$32,325.16 
17Corey Hendrick$31,140.92 
18Paden Bray$31,011.14 
19Caleb Hendrix$30,840.07 
20Paul Eaves$30,837.61 
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