Dr. Steven Allday hadn’t picked up a rope in 30 years when Tyler Magnus asked him to step on one of his best head horses a few years ago in Lampasas, Texas.
No, Dr. Allday, originally from Huntsville, Texas, had been busy building a career as a leading expert on joint care in racehorses, working on three Triple Crown Race winners and 29 Breeder’s Cup race winners. He went to school at Texas A&M, then interned for Dr. Edwin Churchill, who helped foster his passion for joint care. He began his practice far from Texas on the racetracks of New York, working on Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds, before moving to Southern California to work for the legendary Allen Paulson Racing.
Eventually, Dr. Allday moved to Kentucky, and he founded Halstrum LLC, the parent company to his widely successful liquid, high molecular weight hyaluronic acid used by ropers and horsemen and horsewomen across the globe: LubriSynHA.
It was also in Kentucky that Dr. Allday met Joe and Janet Schultise and their family of ropers, who owned a feed store at Churchill Downs.
“They’re who got me back into roping, and, eventually, I met Tyler Magnus, who had ‘The Roping Show’ at the time,” said Dr. Allday, who now calls Shelbyville, Kentucky home. “We visited with him and put together a contract and were on the show with LubriSyn. We did quite a few of the shows, and we recorded some stuff and the commercials in Lampasas and Hamilton. We had a relationship for six or eight years and got us a jump start with the ropers. That helped me get reconnected.”
And it was that relationship that led Dr. Allday back to the roping pen that day in Lampasas. It lit a fire inside the doc that he hadn’t even realized was there.
“Tyler said, ‘Hey Doc, you want to rope?’ He gave me a horse that was a rocket, and he was fantastic. I headed probably about a dozen steers before lunch, and 15 after lunch,” Allday remembered. “He asked how long it had been since I roped, and I didn’t really want to tell him. He asked if I knew how many I caught and I said probably 15. He said no, I’d caught 23 out of 27.”
Dr. Allday was hooked. But by that point, picking up roping was no easy task. He’d had back surgery, and he tore a hamstring when he started back, too.
“I can’t roll the clock back on my skillset,” he said. “I just practice and catch. I had a mare I heeled on, and I found a pony on the racetrack and I started heading on him. The first roping I went to was at Shelby Arena outside of Memphis by (John Johnson’s) JX2 Productions. That was the first official jackpot I went to and I made about $1,800. The next week I won the #13 and #9 at the Florida Championships. I’ve been trying to rope and enter up as much as possible since, and that was 2009.”
Dr. Allday placed in the #9.5 Shootout at the Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping in Fort Worth in 2020 with Jesse Rogers, won the ProAm at the Wildfire with Junior Nogueira in 2018, banked $140,000 with Andy Kelley at the 2014 Ariat WSTR Finale in the #10 and is a regular in the winners’ circle at ropings across the country.
The secret, Dr. Allday said, is in his horsepower.
“I have a really good eye for a horse. There’s a secret to making money: Buy the best horse you can possibly afford. You’ll win more, I promise. That’s my key. I have really good horses, and they deliver the goods. I never get outrun. If I’m roping OK, my horses are always working good, and that makes up the difference.”