2022 Breeder's Guide Incentive: Royal Crown
Roping Stallion Nomination: $6,250
Colt Enrollment: FREE
The Royal Crown Roping Stallion Incentive Program—launched in 2021—is the first incentive program of its kind in the roping industry.
Bringing together stallion owners to create a program that adds value to rope horses and prospects and pays ropers big returns. To breeders, the Royal Crown paid out more than $285,000 in its first year. Of that payout, $35,949 went to stallion owners, another $35,949 to breeders and the rest to owners and riders from the August 2021 event in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
What’s more, the Royal Crown offered some $70,000 in added money at the American Rope Horse Futurity Association events throughout the year.
Read: Brazile and American Greed Sweep Heading and Heeling at Inaugural Royal Crown Futurity
“We want to provide ropers with a name-brand horse,” said NFR heeler and Royal Crown founder Matt Zancanella. “Most people are looking for cheap prospects to turn into a rope horse that they can sell down the road. What we want are people looking for colts by name-brand studs, by Royal Crown studs. Having the better breeding will bring in more horses that can go to that top level. Horses who go to these futurities have been put under pressure and are ready to go to the next level. This will give people a lot bigger selection of good horses to pick from.”
This year’s main Royal Crown event will be Aug. 9-14 in Rock Springs with a heading and heeling futurity, derby and maturity, as well as a breakaway roping futurity, and an Open futurity for horses not Royal Crown eligible. Payout details will be released in the coming months. Last year’s event in Rock Springs paid $82,000 with 40 entries in the heading, $66,000 for 22 entries in the heeling futurity, $43,598 with 32 entries in the breakaway, and another $80,000-plus across the Open futurities in the heading, heeling and breakaway held in conjunction with the Royal Crown futurities.
The Royal Crown season will kick off in Buckeye, Arizona, Feb. 13-20 with a $20,000-added breakaway futurity and derby, $20,000-added calf-roping futurity and derby, $30,000-added 4-year-old futurity and $30,000 added maturity (5- and 6-year-olds) and derby (7- and 8-year-olds) and $10,000 added Open team roping futurity. All of that is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in barrel racing money up for grabs at the Royal Crown events. They’ll also produce another event in Waco, Texas, May 6-8, 2022, with details forthcoming on royalcrownrace.com. What’s more, the Royal Crown also adds a sidepot to the American Rope Horse Futurity Association World Championships, paying out thousands in extra money to Royal-Crown-enrolled colts there.
“The Royal Crown is one of the best deals going in the rope horse business,” said Trevor Brazile, who won the Royal Crown Futurity in 2021 on American Greed by Starlight Gypsy. “We made money as a stallion owner with Show Me The Buckles, as a breeder and as owners and competitors. I don’t think I’ve ever been to an event like it that paid that well with that many chances to make money.”
Listen: How Brazile Dominated the Royal Crown Rope Horse Futurity
Run by team ropers for team ropers, the Royal Crown’s commitment to excellence in production is second-to-none.
“We need to give everyone a steer that really tries and runs so we can show the quality of these head horses,” Zancanella said. “That’s the hardest feat to overcome putting on these events, but it’s critical for us to have good, even steers to showcase the best horses.”
The Royal Crown also offers a Junior Stallion program, allowing young studs with limited offspring on the ground to pay senior stallions into the program in their place.
“When they put that junior stallion in, they get to pick a senior stallion in with colts old enough to compete,” said Levi OKeeffe, another of the Royal Crown founders. “That keeps numbers up in the futurity, and we can promote those junior stallions, and the owners still get money back.”
Colts are eligible for the Royal Crown for life, even if the stallion dies, and colt owners can nominate stallions into the program with the permission of the stallion owner, too. The colt owner, then would receive the stallion money from any Royal Crown winnings.
The Royal Crown also offers a $25,000-added sale incentive, giving breeders a spot to market their stallion’s offspring. Horses sold through the sale are eligible for that sale incentive for life.