2012 Select World

Heeling

For this Nebraska veterinarian, the sweetest victories are aboard homebred horses.

2012 Adequan Select World Champions in Heeling Lon Lemon and You Rope Like A Girl

Lon Lemon of Gretna, Nebraska, captures his sixth AQHA world championship.

Dr. Lon Lemon has been to 33 consecutive AQHA World Championship shows and won his fair share of world championships. But a few gold trophies in particular are the sweetest.

“The last three are really neat because they’re all with horses that I’ve raised and mostly trained myself,” Dr. Lemon said. “The last three have been here at the (Adequan) Select World (Championship Show). It’s pretty neat.”

He earned his most recent trophy August 30 at the Adequan Select World in heeling, with homebred sorrel mare, You Rope Like A Girl, named by his wife, Kit.

“She’s special,” said Dr. Lemon, of Gretna, Nebraska. “We raised her and her mother. We have that whole line. She’s a really nice horse, very gentle, very sweet. She’s only 5 years old, and she was injured part of last year, so we haven’t had a chance to rope on her very much, but she’s done really well. She’s a super-nice little horse.

Dr. Lemon had heading help from his trainer AQHA Professional Horseman Steve Orth of Maysville, Oklahoma.

He had three horses in the heeling finals, and his strategy was simple:

“To catch!” he said. “It sounds benign, but that’s what you have to do. I had three horses in the finals, and I was happy to have plenty of chances. I wanted to make sure I caught them all. Whether it’s heading or heeling, catching is somewhat of a mental game. Once you’ve done it a long time like I have, it’s a matter of concentration and focusing on the particular place you want to put your rope and trying to make all the things work.”

The Lemons plan to keep “Scout” and someday breed her. The Lemons are AQHA life members and 20-year AQHA cumulative breeders.

Dr. Lemon has been around horses his entire life. Raised on a farm in Kansas, his dad always had work horses and riding horses.

“Years ago, when I was in vet school, I acquired a registered Quarter Horse,” he recalled. “After I graduated from vet school, I brought him to Nebraska where I live, and we found a trainer. He asked me what I wanted to do with her.”

Dr. Lemon wasn’t sure, so his trainer suggested roping.

“And, here we are, 32 years later.”

He hasn’t missed a World Show in all of those years. He won heeling world championships in 1983, 1985, 1997, 2006 and 2007.

“The unique thing that we really like about the Select World Show is that we know most of the ropers that we compete against,” Dr. Lemon said. “It’s a friendly atmosphere. Since we started coming here nine years ago, we pretty much prefer to come here because of the friendships we have and the people we don’t get to see but maybe once a year. We get to go to dinner with them and spend time with them.“

In heeling, Dr. Lemon earned fourth with HA Jackie The Gypsy and seventh with homebred Dox Hockin Hustler. In heading on August 30, Dr. Lemon took bronze with HA Jackie The Gypsy and 13th with Scout.