Rhen Richard isn’t the only great roper and trainer at the Royal Crown ropings in 2022—but if you’re glancing at this website, you might just think nobody else showed up.
That’s not the case, though. He bested 50 top horses—including those ridden by ARHFA champs Dakota and Tate Kirchenschlager, the Relentless Remuda’s Trevor Brazile and Miles Baker, and legends like Cade Rice, J.D. Yates and Brad Lund—to win the Royal Crown 6-&-Under Heading on Chics Magic Corona, the son of FuryoftheWind that he also won the same division aboard in Buckeye, Arizona. He won $8,280 for the aggregate win, as well as $1,725 for owners of the FuryoftheWind and $1,725 for the horse’s breeders at the Flag Ranch.
“You don’t have to do anything special on this horse,” Richard, 33, of Roosevelt, Utah, said. “He’s so fast-footed, and he’s got a ton of eye appeal. We made a good jackpot run and he marked really well.”
Richard also won fourth on Hankies Version, worth another $5,040 for his family as well as $1,050 for his dad as the breeder and the same amount for the owners of Winners Version, Highpoint Performance Horses. Hankies Version won Round 1 and Round 2, worth $2,220 per go-round, and he was third in Round 3 for $1,020 on Rubys Rollin, the mare he won Salinas on last week.
“On Hankies Version, I got a little lax warming him up, and he kind of leaked through my hand and I broke the barrier and I should have been high call on him by six points,” Richard said. “But he came back in the short round and was outstanding. On ‘Pierre’—that’s what we call Chics Magic Corona—I didn’t place in the first or second round, and we came up the fence and slipped a leg in Round 3, but he worked so well we were a 120 anyway. So we were third call, and just got to make our run in the short round.”
Richard admits that his crew in 2022 is one for the ages. With the COVID-19 pandemic coming during their 2- and 3-year-old years, he had more time than ever to camp on them, ride them outside and start them on the Smarty before there was much pressure to compete.
What’s next for A&C Racing’s horse herd?
“My 5-year-old crew next year will be slim, but as far as 2- and 3-year olds, two years down the road, I’ll be loaded,” Richard said. “We have a kid hired, Trinity Haggard, and he’s doing all our breaking and gets them really broke. I think they’ll be even further along than what these horses here are, actually. He’s way better at it than what I am. We might send them off for 60 days to get to where you can do something with them. I was mainly doing it all, but he’s been in a cow horse program a bunch. We’re trying to mesh and find out what works for both. He’s super savvy.”
Richard and his family still retain five breedings each year to Winners Version, the stud they once owned who’s offspring Rhen and brother Kaden have already excelled upon. They also are looking forward to breeding some running-bred mares to their stud CR Woody Be A Dual, the 4-year-old Richard won the 4-&-Under Royal Crown heeling aboard, and to Reys Smoking Dually, the sire to Rubys Rollin.
“The way Trinity has them broke, he claims our running-bred stuff is more broke than the cow horses,” Richard said. “I don’t know if they’re strong enough, body-wise, in certain areas, so I think that’s half the problem straight running horses get hot—they’re hurting. But we’re trying to cross cow-bred stuff on running mares, or vice versa.”
What’s next for Rhen Richard?
With some $91,420 in PRCA earnings, Richard has guaranteed himself a fifth National Finals Rodeo qualification in December. Despite having the most dominant herd of young horses, Richard isn’t getting off the older brown horse named Hustler Lena rode last year at the Finals.
“He’s like stealing in there,” Richard laughed. “As long as he’ll stay sound and strong, I’ll never ride another horse in there.”