Editor’s Note: Junior Nogueira and author Chelsea Shaffer BOTH forgot that Nogueira was driving Green Card when he was 3.32 within the lengthy spherical of RFD-TV’s The American in 2018. So whereas the unique model of this text said that he was the one horse to have been 3.3 3 times, he has really been 3.3 FOUR instances. 

There may not be something significantly particular about Junior Nogueira’s 2006 black gelding he calls Green Card. 

Not a flowery cease, not a flowery nook and never a flowery look. But Peppers Homespun Kid, the son of Pepper Joe Hancock out of Uno Bar Girl by The Crimson Cowboy, is the one heel horse in historical past to carry the excellence of creating 4 3.3-second, world-record runs in competitors. 

“It’s weird, honestly,” Nogueira, 31, stated. “He’s good to go fast on, but that’s not really the answer how he does it. He’s not Jackyl or Switchblade or Hali or Timon, but he lets me do my job and when he hits that spot, he’s amazing.” 

Aboard Green Card Nogueira constructed his profession—profitable the American, two of ProRodeo’s common seasons, USTRC’s Open Shootout, the 3S Services Open Shootout and two Spicer Gripp Memorial Ropings. And at 16, he’s not carried out but.

The World Series ‘Start’

Green Card began out as a World Series of Team Roping jackpot heel horse for producer James Watson, who used him for all the things from sorting cattle to breaking in freshies and flagging ropings. 

“He was a little bit of an outlaw at first,” Watson remembered. “You couldn’t catch him in the pasture, and he was kind of wild. He became just a heel horse, and there wasn’t anything fancy about him. But I rode him at the World Series of Team Roping Finale, and I even won money on him there.” 

Watson had recognized the Brazilian heeler since Nogueira first got here to the States to assist Robbie Schroeder years in the past. So regardless that Watson wasn’t eager to promote the horse, he gave in as a result of he appreciated Nogueira. 

“He had lots of jackpot experience,” Nogueira stated. “But no rodeo experience. I worked on getting him a little more broke, but mostly I wanted to leave him alone because he was so patterned and knew his job.” 

Nogueira heeled behind JoJo Lemond at his second Finals in 2015 after Jake Barnes received damage days earlier than the NFR, and so they positioned in eight rounds with Nogueira driving Green Card. 

“That horse just stays out of Junior’s way,” Watson stated. “He’s so easy to ride and so forgiving. He don’t ever try to take a throw away from you and he does the same thing over and over. He has to be honest the way Junior throws so fast.”

The Gambler

Nogueira roped within the ERA in 2016, and he and Kaleb Driggers paired up mid-summer to dominate the regular-season ProRodeos they entered. Green Card’s abilities have been on full show in a wide range of setups all year long, sharing time with Nogueira’s AQHA World Champion Apache R Hali and serving to set Nogueira up for his All-Around gold buckle that 12 months. 

Months earlier than the 2016 Finals, Driggers and Nogueira went to a jackpot referred to as The Gambler, hosted by Anthony Lucia and Austin Robertson at Robertson Hill Ranch. That’s the place Green Card actually received to shine, making his first 3.3-second run behind Driggers. 

The Finals 

Fast ahead to 2017, when Driggers and Nogueira have been once more within the gold-buckle hunt. They’d faltered earlier within the week, and wanted to go quick by Round 9—notoriously the quickest night time of NFR workforce roping yearly with the softest set of cattle. 

Nogueira pulling again on the Round 9 steer in 2017 in 3.3 seconds. Kirt Steinke Photo

“It happened so fast,” Nogueira stated. “It was crazy. I pulled back and undallied. The clock was still ticking, and running in the 2’s when I looked up. I should not have looked at the clock. Because when it stopped at 3.3, I got too excited, and went crazy. Green Card swung his butt under my legs and spun around.”

Nogueira took a spill off Green Card throughout their 3.3-celebration. Kirt Steinke Photo

“I was happy and starting to celebrate, and next thing I know I’m looking up at the roof of the Thomas & Mack. I was embarrassed, but I was so happy. I had watched Chad and Jade be 3.3 over and over before I even came to America. So I made the best run of my life, then I fell off. But at least I landed on my feet. I just laughed about it.”

The American 

Nogueira really forgot that he gained RFD-TV’s $100,000-a-man American payday on Green Card—making a 3.32-second run within the occasion’s lengthy spherical.

“I can’t BELIEVE I forgot this one,” Nogueira laughed after a TRJ reader identified the error… For somewhat bit I used to be pondering I may need to throw on the improper aspect however I introduced him again and took another. It was so quick, I didn’t wish to miss. We needed to be quick and make a clear run. I needed to let him go straight. But as quickly as Kaleb reached he adopted him. On that run, Green Card didn’t comply with excellent, however I do know him very effectively. Luckily he’s robust on the saddle horn and I had a superb dally.”

Nogueira on Green Card at The American in 2018. Andy Watson Photo/BullStockMedia.com

Coincidentally, Driggers was aboard the identical horse he rode in Las Vegas to be 3.3—Dre—who he finally allowed Clay Tryan’s boys to jackpot on and is now retired at Driggers’ home in Stephenville. 

The Timed Event Challenge 

While Green Card has spent the higher a part of the final three years enjoying second-fiddle to Nogueira’s Timon, Nogueira has stored the horse in form and tuned up within the observe pen, able to go when wanted. Nogueira had offered some youthful horses, and he had an open spot on his dance card for the 2022 Western Horseman Timed Event Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, held after the AQHA present for ropers to spotlight simply how briskly they’ll go on their good ones.

Driggers and Nogueira gained first and second within the occasion and about $10,000, with Nogueira driving Green Card for his or her first-place, 3.31-second test. 

“He’s not done yet,” Nogueira stated. “I’m trying to get young horses going, but I can still ride him and Hali if I need to. He’s in good shape, and the young horses are my priority, but I’m always grateful for Green Card and what he’s done for me and my family.” TRJ 

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