DECEMBER 3, 2014

NFR rookie qualifier earned his first PRCA Buckle in Cave Creek

Rookie roping sensation, Junior Nogueira from Brazil will compete in the 2014 WNFR with 7x World Champion Header, Jake Barnes
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CAVE CREEK – After the dust had settled at the Cave Creek Memorial Arena in March, Cave Creek Pro Rodeo President Traci Casale received a phone call from World Champion Team Roper, Jake Barnes. Barnes asked Casale if the committee awarded trophy buckles. She informed him they no longer did because the focus has been on increasing the contestant purse. As the conversation continued, Jake told Ms Casale this was Junior’s first Pro win and a Heeler buckle would mean a lot to him.

nfr rookie juniorTraci ended the call by telling Mr Barnes she would take care of it and would be in touch soon. She immediately called Gina Kraut, who owns and operates Buckin’ Awards and asked for help. Cave Creek Pro Rodeo uses Buckin’ Awards for their Memorial Buckles and golf awards. Casale explained to Ms Kraut that the committee could not fairly purchase one trophy buckle, but she felt strongly about getting a Champion Heeler buckle made and asked if Gina knew anyone who might want to sponsor the buckle. Gina immediately said she would sponsor the buckle herself.

It took some time to catch up with team ropers Barnes and Nogueira since they make their living on the road. Both Casale and Kraut took the buckle to out of state rodeos, hoping to award the buckle to Mr. Nogueira, but it wasn’t until the team ropers returned to Arizona to prepare for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo that the ladies were able to present the buckle to Nogueira and congratulate the team on making the Finals.

Congratulations were exchanged all around as the Cave Creek Fiesta Days Rodeo has been nominated as a finalist for the 2014 PRCA Small Rodeo of the Year. The Awards banquet will be streaming live at on the evening of December 3.

The WNFR is held in Las Vegas every December. Watch it live nightly starting December 4 on CBS Sports Network.

The 2015 Cave Creek Fiesta Days Rodeo takes place on March 27, 28 & 29, 2015. Rodeo tickets go on sale in January 2015. Performances are selling out, so please purchase your rodeo tickets in advance.

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Photo:  (l-r) Gina Kraut, Buckin' Awards, Junior Nogueira, NFR Qualifer, Traci Casale, CCPR President