Rhen Richard and SJR Diamond Bond took the 4-Year-Old Heading title at the Royal Crown in Buckeye, Arizona, while Daniel Rice and First Class Vintage took the 4-Year-Old Heeling title.
Richard won $4,133 in the average and $2,653 in the rounds, while the horse’s breeders San Juan Ranch won an additional $1,020 and the stallion owners of sire CD Diamond won another $1,020.
“Clayton Edsall started him, and we’ve had him since and ranched on him a bunch and just used him,” Richard said. “This is the first place he’s ever been. He’s probably headed 100 steers. He’s got a lot of style and he’s pretty. As a 4-year-old that hasn’t been anywhere, he did great.”
Richard was second callback, with ProRodeo partner Jeremy Buhler heeling. They made a solid, up-front run to be 126.74, the highest mark of the short round. Richard’s brother Kaden was high back and had a harder-running steer to be 122.76, giving Richard his second title of the weekend. He won the Open Heeling futurity the night before.
“I think it’s a lot of pressure on a young one, but there’s a lot of money to be one,” Richard said. “With him being straight cow-bred, he can take a lot more than some with running bred horses.”
Rice won $5,100 in the average and $3,916 in the rounds on First Class Vintage, while the breeders Robertson Ranches won $990 and the owners of One Fine Vintage (also Robertson Ranches) won another $990. Rice also picked up another $4,400 for winning the limited sidepot.
“My wife helps market that stud, and the people who own One Fine Vintage raised that horse,” Rice said. “I started him as a 2-year-old, and he’s been really good the whole time. He’s a super good horse and I’m pretty excited about him.”
Rice, who spends most of his time ranching, has gotten to brand calves on the stud One Fine Vintage that usually spends his days at work at Cory Cushings. But he’s getting the chance to ride lots of his babies.
“They’ve all been super good. They have quite a bit of size, and every one I’ve ridden tries really hard for you. Rope-horse wise, they’re stronger, and have enough cow but not too much that they’re cowing up. But we really like them and we’re really excited about them.”
The Royal Crown was the first show for First Class Vintage, though the horse has already been to a few jackpots.
“On that third steer, when our steer broke way off to the left, I thought we’d find out how green he really is,” Rice said. “But he tracked over there pretty good and read it really well.”
Rice had the help of veteran futurity trainer Andy Holcomb on the head side. TRJ