The Interview - Brad Barkemeyer
Brad Barkemeyer, from Scottsdale, AZ competed in the 2016 World Series of Roping, at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas, December 10th. He finished 4th place and Won $130,000 when he Team Roped with his hero & friend Doug Williamson.
1 - HOW MANY TEAMS WERE ENTERED FOR THIS ENTIRE EVENT?
I think around 4,000 for the week, 500+ in our roping
2- WAS THE COMPETITION TOUGH?
Yes, with people from all over North America and Hawaii and the shear numbers alone you'd better bring your A game.
3- TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPETITION HORSE?
He's an eight year old gelding by Easy Otie Whiz out of a Colonial Freckles daughter. I started roping on him when he was 3 for current owner Grennberg Land and Livestock, and took him to the World Series Finals the first time as a 4 year old. He's always been very mature and great minded, He's really special because he is also an excellent heading horse and crosses over to be very competitive at the AQHA shows as well as the jackpots.
4-WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A HORSE?
I would take a horse with a good mind and a lot of try any day over one with raw talent. In addition, good feet and legs, big hip, good genetics and being attractive doesn't hurt.
5-HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMPETING AT THIS AT SOUTH POINT EVENT?
Steve Greenberg and I have roped there together for 7 years now. We finished 10th last year, and placed a couple years ago. It is such an amazing event with so much money available it's a hard roping to miss. Plus Denny and Connie Gentry, their family and crew are first class, we appreciate what they do for this event and the industry as a whole.
6- WHO IS DOUG WILLIAMSON AND WHY IS HE YOUR "HERO"?
We could write a book on "Who is Doug Williamson"(which someone should probably do)but basically he is one of the best horse trainers and showmen of all time. Doug is most well known for his success in the Reined Cow Horse arena as being a multiple Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion, Worlds Greatest Horseman contender and NRCHA Hall of Famer. Doug has left his mark on cowboying, rodeoing, reining, cutting, and other events I probably don't know about. He is 74 years young, a cancer survivor that has a great wife and family. Don't let his age fool you. He is a force to be reckoned with in any event involving a horse. I'm proud to call him my friend, his positive attitude, smile and never quit attitude is infectious. That's why he is my hero.
7- YOUR WIFE "MINDY" JUST HAD A BIG WIN AT THE NRCHA FUTURITY, TELL US ABOUT THAT?
I'm so proud of her. She is an all star mom, wife, business partner and friend. Besides starting her own purse and accessory business this year, we decided she should show a the NRCHA Snaffle Bit futurity, since she had so much extra time (sarcastic)! Mindy won the AQHA World Championship in the boxing in 2013 so she made the goal of going to the futurity in the boxing before she learned how to go down the fence. Combine a strong competitor and good horsewoman and just like her first AQHA World Show, she ended up winning her first NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in the Non Pro Limited on a horse that is actually a half brother to the gelding on which she won the World Show on this year!
8- HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?
I started riding, roping and training as a child on the family ranch in Montana. My Dad was instrumental in developing my appreciation for horsemanship and my mom provided a lot of support and resources for me to pursue horse training as a business that started in eighth grade.
9 & 10- WHO HAVE YOU WORKED WITH? MENTORED WITH?
During college at Montana State University I worked for David Avery. He and his wife at the time, Gary Lynn, introduced me to the horse show world. From there I began my quest to train and show rope horses at AQHA events. After college I continued to work for David as he had moved to Roswell NM. I spent 4 years as an assistant learning the ins and outs of the rope horse business before relocating to Scottsdale to work for Al Dunning. While at Al's I broadened my interest to include reining, cutting and cow horses. Mindy and I started Bar B Performance Horses in 2010 and our first ad ran in the Bridle and Bit Magazine. I guess it must have worked because we have a barn full of great clients and their horses, operating at Bella Vista Ranch in Scottsdale.
11- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING AT THIS?
I have memories of roping the dummy and dogs before I was in school, so I guess I've been working at this a long time. When something is your passion it's not work, but a way of life.
12- HOW MANY EVENTS DO YOU COMPETE IN/FOCUS ON?
We usually attend around 20 events per year between AQHA and NRCHA events as well as the World Series and NTRA Team Ropings.
13- YOU HAVE TWO SONS, DO THEY RIDE AND COMPETE?
We have two great boys, Bryce 10 and Zane 8. Both are very good riders. Bryce began showing in the youth boxing this past July at the Arizona Reined cow horse Association Tall Pines show in Flagstaff, and is pursuing qualification for the AQHA Youth World Show, when he is not in school or playing flag football. Zane showed in the Youth Ranch Riding the last two years at the AQHA Sun Circuit and has many other interests, including Cub Scouts, Karate, Art and taking care of his chickens.
14-IS THIS ONE OF THE BIG HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER?
This is definitely a highlight of my career. It is so fun and rewarding because of the nature of the event, and the money is life changing! It makes the long hours, sacrifice away from family, money spent and failures along the way a little easier to swallow. Plus, it was a team win for Doug and I, our families and our horse owners which makes it even more special.
15. WHAT ARE SOME OTHER CAREER "BIG DEALS"?
*AZQHA Most Valuable Professional 2011
*Finalist at AQHA World Show in Reining, Cow horse, Heading and Heeling
*NRCHA Hackamore Classic Open, Intermediate and Limited Champion
*NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open and Intermediate Finalist
*Sun Circuit Smart Boons Fence Challenge Champion
*Sun Circuit Cinch Timed Event Champion
*DT Horses Rope Horse Derby Champion
16- WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND TO YOUNG MEN & WOMAN THAT WISH TO MAKE A CAREER IN WESTERN PERFORMANCE TRAINING & COMPETITION?
To the aspiring trainers: Horse training is not "normal" life but it is real life, just more fun! You must be committed, you must have patience, you must work hard and among many other things you must be resilient.
17- WHAT ARE YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM TO OTHER RIDERS OPEN & NON-PRO?
Competition is about constancy and repetition, just like training a horse, and you cant be afraid to make a mistake. Never give up or lose confidence in your own ability or that of your horse. A moment in competition does not define who you are. In a sport with so many variables, we can all use a little luck now and then.
18- WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME/HOBBIES?
My favorite thing to do if I have any free time is to be at home with my family with no plans or activities. Otherwise team roping, watching football, and of course shopping with my wife ;). Someday I want to travel without horses, fly fish, golf, play the guitar, hunt and snow ski.
19. CLOSING THOUGHTS/COMMENTS?
I want to Thank Mindy, Bryce and Zane for supporting me in this crazy life and for understanding when I miss activities or I'm late for dinner! I would like to Thank the WSTR and all of its great sponsors for making this event possible. Many Thanks to Steve and Trish Greenberg for always keeping excellent horses around, and for keeping us on the Greenberg Express and for being great friends/family. Thank You to Doug Williamson for turning four nice steers and making it easy on me. Thank You to my sponsors; Weaver Leather, Lone Star Ropes, Bob's Custom Saddles, Wrangler, Justin Boots, BEX sunglasses, JW Brooks Custom hats, Logan Coach Trailers, and certainly but not least I give God the glory for all that he has Blessed us with, the Freedoms of this great Country, good horses, and the great people to share it with.
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