Rookie roping sensation Junior Nogueira from Brazil will compete in the 2014 WNFR with 7x World Champion Header Jake Barnes.

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Rookie roping qualifier earns his first PRCA buckle

Submitted by Cave Creek Pro Rodeo~ 12/3/2014

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 and she told him they no longer did because the focus has been on increasing the contestant purse. As the conversation continued, Barnes told Casale that this was Junior’s first Pro win and a Heeler buckle would mean a lot to him.  

Casale ended the call by telling Barnes that 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 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. Kraut immediately said she would sponsor the buckle herself. Casale said, “I’m not asking you to do that.” Kraut responded, “I know you’re not asking, but I would be honored to do this, so consider it done.”

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

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