Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, who ended their partnership this spring after five years are now roping as second partners, won the 3S Services Open Showdown and $35,000, Teskey's trophy saddles and Tres Rios Silver buckles in a roping that showcased some of the toughest roping action ropers have seen.
Driggers and Nogueira stopped the clock at high callback in the the short round in 4.90 seconds, giving them a time of 27.94 seconds on five head.
"It’s kind of crazy," Driggers, who will be roping with Cory Petska in 2020, said. "The roping was so tough. It was unbelievable. There was people being 30 on five and not even placing. That’s what was crazy. It was a great setup and a great set of steers. Apparently, everyone has been at home practicing because it was definitely tough."
[SHOP: Junior Nogueira's Team Roping Gear]
(As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases made through affiliate links.)
The roping fell on Mother's Day, which made this victory a sweeter win for Nogueira, who's wife and baby were able to attend.
"Everyone was excited to go rope," Nogueira said. "We got to see a lot of families and people out there. It was Mother’s Day, so we got to see moms out there. It was the first time I’ve taken Jacqueline and the baby with me."
The roping which is produced by Robertson Hill Ranch hosted 226 teams in the Open, which included a #16.5 incentive.
"We got to rope against the best," Nogueira, who will heel for Cody Snow this year, added. "It was probably one of the toughest jackpots I’ve been to."
The roping presented a 85% payback with $25,000 added to the pot and paid out $120,000 in total.
"We have a lot people that have stepped up and added some money for us to go," Driggers noted. "It’s definitely a time that we need to capitalize on because we don’t know what’s next."
Driggers and Nogueira's longest run was their first-round steer, which they roped in 6.06 seconds and stepped up the pace from round two until the short round.
"Our strongest steer was probably in the short round—him or our first one," Driggers said about the steers they drew. "Our middle three were pretty good steers. From the get-go I had seen that it was going to be a tough roping so I just started going at them from the beginning. Junior told me before we went that if we win this roping today I could give him a haircut. He hasn’t held up that promise yet. He’s going to have to at some point because that was a tough roping to win."
[SHOP: Kaleb Driggers' Go-To Gear]
Driggers rode a 9-year-old blaze-face, sorrel gelding he calls Schmidty that he bought from Taylor Schmidt, while Nogueira pulled back on his buckskin, Timon.
"I really like the horse and I’ve been kind of nervous about cracking him out," Driggers said about the sorrel who's original name was Sorrely. "I thought it was time to throw him in the fire and see what we got and if it works, it works and if not, great. He was awesome all day.
"He’s probably the best, well-bred horse I’ve seen as far as a cutting horses. He’s High Brow Cat and Dual Pep. He’s bred really well. When I first got him I was kind of babying him—running three or four steers on him a day. He kind of got cow fresh. So I started running five or six on him and lope him more. He’s been a lot better since I’ve been riding him pretty good."
Driggers and Nogueira plan to continue roping as second partners and enter jackpots together.
"He and I are second partners and we’re still great friends—no hard feelings at all about any of it," Driggers said about the split. "We just took a split. This is our fifth year roping together and we have done really well together and have won a lot of stuff, but we just haven’t been to be able to pull off the gold buckle, so we’re trying something different. You never know though. We split on good terms and we’re liable to rope together again one day. For now we just needed a fresh start."
1. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, 27.94 seconds on five head, worth $35,000
2. Tanner Tomlinson and Brady Norman, 28.21 seconds on five head, worth, $20,000
3. Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, 29.10 seconds on five head, worth $16,000
4. Britt Smith and Jake Smith, 29.29 seconds on five head, worth $13,400
5. Coleman Proctor and Reagan Ward, 30.15 seconds on five head, worth $10,000
6. Chad Masters and Dustin Searcy, 30.21 seconds on five head, worth $8,000
7. Andrew Ward and Trey Johnson, 30.28 seconds on five head, worth $5,000
8. Peyton Walters and Wesley Thorp, 30.40 seconds on five head, worth $3,000
1. Jaxson Tucker and Colton Brittain, 28.43 seconds on four head, worth $5,000
2. Wyatt Bray and Chad Williams, 31.15 seconds on four head, worth $2,500
Short Go Fast Time:
1. Coy Rahlmann and Billie Jack Saebens, 4.91 seconds, worth $1,000