With Ju­nior Nogueira

Spin to Win Rodeo - - At The Barrier -

When Ju­nior Nogueira was a kid grow­ing up rop­ing in Brazil, al­ready busy win­ning mo­tor­cy­cles and cash at the coun­try’s big­gest rop­ings, he and his friends would spend their down time watch­ing rop­ing DVDs—like Las Ve­gas’ Hork Dog Clas­sic.

So when he got to com­pete there for the first time in 2014, he made the most of the living-the-dream mo­ment. He won it with fel­low young-gun Tom Richards, pock­et­ing $20,000 for win­ning the jack­pot in 28.33 sec­onds, rid­ing his geld­ing, Lit­tle Man.

“I was a lit­tle ner­vous,” Nogueira said. “We needed to be 4.96, and in my mind I thought we were 5-some­thing. Then I looked at the clock and I thought Tom must have broke the bar­rier. But then ev­ery­one started cheer­ing and clap­ping, and it was very big for me.”

The money came at a time when the then-PRCA rookie needed it most—head­ing into the Cal­i­for­nia run, fol­lowed by a busy sum­mer that would launch Nogueira into his first WNFR.

“At that time, the money re­ally helped me on the road be­cause I didn’t have any spon­sors or any­thing,” Nogueira said. “Sum­mer time was com­ing and it was very im­por­tant. I love that rop­ing. It’s an amaz­ing rop­ing and it pays re­ally good. It’s a tough rop­ing, too. Every­body is rop­ing fast and en­ters more than once. I don’t just love it be­cause I’ve done good the last two years. It’s re­ally fa­mous in Brazil.”

Nogueira fin­ished sec­ond this year at the Hork Dog, pock­et­ing an­other $14,125 in Las Ve­gas cash. In the 2015 edi­tion of the Hork Dog, Nogueira rode his new horse—a 7-year-old geld­ing he calls Green Card.

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