Brad Lund is a professional horseman who’s made his mark at American Quarter Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association and American Rope Horse Futurity Association events for years. The 17-time World Champion has won three Superhorse titles. Lund also loves to rope, and competes at USTRC and World Series of Team Roping events. Lund, 52, operates Brad Lund Performance Horses out of La Cygne, Kansas, with his wife, Amy, and son, Garett.
Q: Where is La Cygne, Kansas?
A: It’s about 70 miles straight south of Kansas City, Kansas, and 200 miles northeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’re way on the eastern side of Kansas.
Q: Where did you win all those world championships?
A: Most of them were won in the AQHA at the World Show.
Q: More than one team roper has made mention of the fact that you have a knack for hitting it out of the park at horse sales with rope horses you’ve trained. True story?
A: We’ve been fortunate to do that a couple times. That doesn’t happen all the time to anyone, but every once in awhile it’s happened to us and we’re grateful.
Q: What makes a great rope horse in your eyes?
A: The horses I’ve always done best with are the ones who’ve come up through the cow-horse program. They may not have made it as big-time cow horses, but they’re basically broke. They’ve had a lot of mental and physical pressure put on them already, so roping is easy for them. Compared to what they’re used to doing, roping is easier. And it’s fun for them.
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Q: As busy as you stay training and showing, how often do you get away to enter roping jackpots?
A: I’ve gotten to go to a tick more ropings this year than normal, because a lot of the horse shows have been cancelled because of the coronavirus. Showing the horses is what I do for a living, so that’s my priority when it’s possible. But this year, with fewer shows—just like rodeo—it’s been a little slower. And because of all the cancelations, we don’t have to qualify for the World Show this year. That’s also freed me up to go to a few more ropings in 2020.
Q: Do you head or heel?
A: I head more than I heel.
Q: As a professional horse trainer, is it fair to presume that you ride better than you rope?
A: That’s an easy one. Yes. Something I’ve struggled with over the years is that I’m always so concerned about the horse that I don’t take time to focus on my roping. But good horsemanship is a big asset in roping. When people’s horsemanship gets better and the use of their left hand improves, they tend to win more roping.
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Q: Have you always roped?
A: I started roping when I was 19. I’ve always wanted to train horses. I got a job out of high school starting 2-year-olds, and the people I worked for had rope horses, too. Everybody around there roped, so I wanted to try it, too.
Q: You have a connection with three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo heeler Dakota Kirchenschlager, right?
A: Yes, now that he’s showing horses, I help Dakota with his horsemanship, and he helps me with my roping. We also help each other with the mental game. We’ve become very good friends.
Read More: The Rundown with Dakota Kirchenschlager
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Q: Brad Lund Performance Horses involves your whole family, huh?
A: Yes, Amy helps saddle and unsaddle, takes care of the house and handles all the book work for our business. Garett has a leather shop, Lundy’s Leather, here and makes breast collars, headstalls, belts and wallets. My mom and dad, Ray and Julie Lundy, live on our place, too. You never know what’s going to happen at our house. We always have a lot of people coming and going. We ride and rope all day every day, and at the end of the day I like to work on my steer roping a little bit just for myself.
Q: Do you specialize in certain horsemanship disciplines?
A: We’ve started a lot of 2-year-olds this year, and I’m getting three horses ready for the Snaffle Bit Futurity this fall. The Snaffle Bit includes three events—cutting, reined work (a.k.a. dry work) and going down the fence, and roping. So we do all of it every day.
Q: Do you love it all?
A: I like the fence work a lot. I’m learning a lot about the cutting now, too. I also have a horse entered in the NCHA (National Cow Horse Association) Futurity in Fort Worth in November for the first time. I want to be a well-rounded horseman and cowboy.
Q: How active are you in the rope horse futurities, and do you see them bolstering the already booming team roping industry?
A: I’ve been to every rope horse futurity so far. I think they’re a very good avenue to bring up young horses, so they can evolve on a competition stage. The better ones will go on and make rodeo horses or gentleman-type jackpot horses. And the futurities are a good way to generate more interest in young rope horses, which is great for everyone. It’s hard to take a 4- or 5-year-old to big ropings. When you have a lot of money up, you want to ride your best horse. The futurities give young horses a ladder to climb, and do nothing but make them better. (Lund finished second and sixth in the heading at the 2019 American Rope Horse Futurity in Fort Worth last October.)
Q: Is roping fun for you?
A: I’m a very competitive guy. I played football and wrestled as a kid. I don’t like to lose at anything. So I keep trying to learn more about roping that’ll help me get better at it. I work at my roping every day. I love it.