Kirchenschlager Still King of Cowtown
Tate Kirchenschlager is the reigning king of head horse training.
Tate Kirchenschlager A Painted Sunshine
Tate Kirchenschlager winning the ARHFA Cowtown Classic on A Painted Sunshine, owned by Riley Wheeler. | TRJ File Photo

Tate Kirchenschlager won the American Rope Horse Futurity Association’s Cowtown Classic July 6, 2024, on Riley Wheeler’s World Champion Head Horse A Painted Sunshine, marking the horse’s third major win and second in the John Justin.

Kirchenschlager also won the 4-&-Under ARHFA Heading Pre-Futurity on Almost LostMy Ticket, a 4-year-old gelding by Roo Star out of Ticket Out Of Here that he and wife Terra own.

For his Open Futurity win on A Painted Sunshine (by Second Painted Sign out of Miss Freckles Handle) with 933.21 points on four head, he pocketed $9,962.40, plus another $2,350 for first in Round 1 and second in Round 2. Kirchenschlager also won second with a 927.82 on four on DCC Fools Gold (by Metallic Echo out of DCC Smooth Sugar), his Royal Crown and Gold Buckle Futurities champion horse owned by Dasco Cattle Co. for $7,827.60. He also won a go-round in the Open Futurity on SJR Bet He Sparks (by Bet Hesa Cat out of CD Sparkle) for $1,500.

Tate Kirchenschlager A Painted Sunshine
A Painted Sunshine and Tate Kirchenschlager | Elite Equine Promotions Photo

In the 4-&-Under, Kirchenschlager won $4,695 on Almost LostMy Ticket, plus another $1,000 in go-round checks. He also won third in the 4-&-Under on Revolutionary Outlaw (by Shiney Outlaw out of SLR Nic Of Time and owned by Southern Ranches) for $3,130 plus $1,000 for a go-round win.

Unofficially, Kirchenschlager and his horses amassed $31,465 in earnings over two days of heading competition.

A Painted Sunshine

“I’ll say I was happy with the gray today,” Kirchenschlager said of his Open Heading champ A Painted Sunshine. “He’s good all the way around. He, knock on wood, wants to score pretty good, and he’ll let me get a pretty decent start, and he catches up fast. And then, I’d say he’s good through the turn. He might not be the best horse through the turn, but he’s good. And then he faces. He clears his hips good. So I’d say out of the four maneuvers, he does three of them really, really good. And the fourth one he does good. Not great, but good.”

Kirchenschlager’s 4-year-old champ, who won the Cowtown Classic in just his second show, came to him at the suggestion of trainer Brad Lund.

Brad said he was gonna be a good horse, and we wanted another horse,” Kirchenschlager said. “And Brad hadn’t led me astray yet. Brad roped on him just a little bit—maybe like 30 days of roping. There for a while when we first got him, he’s pretty fragile minded. So we just went slow. We just kind of healed on him a little bit, headed on him, played around on the slow steers. Then once he got a little more mature here lately, we’ve just been trying to turn steers on him for a while. And then now just in the last 45 days, I finally got to where I can kind of shape him up how I want to shape him.”


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