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Behind the Scenes at the Royal Crown

Putting on a futurity isn’t easy, but putting on a world class industry leading futurity is even harder. At the Royal Crown, the O’Keefe family & the Zancanella family have joined forces to put on such an event. The WRANGLER had the opportunity to sit down with Lindsey O’Keefe, one of the members of the Royal Crown team.

Lindsey O’Keefe is a jack of all trades. Lindsey does all of the books, stallion enrollments, website, entries, events, marketing, & social media for the Royal Crown. But wait…. There’s more! Lindsey is also a mother of five, and keeps her kids and husband Levi in line, at their home place in Belle Fouche, South Dakota.

For Levi and Lindsey, joining forces with Matt Zancanella to create The Royal Crown was a no brainer.

“I felt it was a great opportunity for us as I would be able to stay home with our kids and work from the house and be able to somewhat set my hours. My husband team ropes and rodeos, our kids all ride and rodeo, and we love the friends we have gained through it. We do not own a stallion ourselves, so it has been fun to learn more about pedigrees and crosses,” said Lindsey.

These days, The Royal Crown is a full-blown operation that has events throughout the country, but their main event is in Rock Springs, Wyoming on August 8-17, 2023. In 10 days, a minimum of over one million dollars in added money will be awarded, along with 100% payback in the futurities. The Royal Crown offers futurities, open, youth and senior divisions in the barrel racing, team roping, and breakaway roping.

In just four years, The Royal Crown has revolutionized the futurity world. With their fresh ideas and new perspectives on what once were considered “industry standards”, The Royal Crown has forever changed the incentive industry for the better.

“I think what separates The Royal Crown the most is no nominations. We have a lot of people who love that. We don’t do guaranteed payouts either, we do a percentage payout. We try to be super accommodating for everyone around,” said Lindsey.

Unlike many other incentives, The Royal Crown also offers an open division with Royal Crown side pots. This extends the constant group to be much larger than a traditional futurity.

Royal Crown image by Lexi Smith Media

The Rock Springs Royal Crown is not just a futurity either, but also features a horse sale. The horse sale will be held on August 11th this year, a few days into the futurity.

It takes a village to put on The Royal Crown, and there is a great staff helping the O’Keefes & the Zancanellas out behind the scenes. Lindsey’s sister Brianna and Lakken Bice, The Royal Crown’s graphic designer are just a few of Lindsey’s helpers. Lindsey also credits Bryel Mulligan and Kaitlyn Latham for helping keep the office organized and efficient at events.

The crew will also largely consist of the Zancanella family, who proves at all productions they put on… that it really is a family business.

There will be hours of thoughtful work that will go into the ground from the ground crew and Lindsey points out that this can come as one of the most challenging things behind the scenes. At The Royal Crown, they are always striving to make sure the ground is as perfect as it can be for all events.

A standout production will show in numbers, and that is exactly what the Royal Crown has done. Their stallion waitlist is miles long, and they have not just one futurity and sale they put on a year, but multiple. The Royal Crown produces events in Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.

The Royal Crown wouldn’t be where it is today without the amazing stallion owners and contestants, and Lindsey and the entire crew hope to continue to produce world class events for these amazing individuals for years to come.

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