Baldwin, North Dakota – To the educated eye of a seasoned horseman, horses fall into about three different categories; barely interesting, good horses and then there’s the rarest of them all, the reason they keep looking, the one’s with greatness. That last kind doesn’t just rivet the horseman’s eye, they grab them straight by the soul.

Shane Gunderson was at the News Year’s Eve bronc match in Malta, Montana, when he saw #007 James Bond for the first time. The flashy bay 4-year-old was rare, had a presence about him. When his rider got ready and nodded for the young stallion, Gunderson was hooked.

“You’ll see a lot of good colts on the futurity trail,” Gunderson said. “This one was special.”

Gunderson offered to buy him on the spot, but breeder Jim Orahood wasn’t interested. He knew what he had. About 10 days later, he called Gunderson and asked if he still wanted him. Gundersonhad his checkbook in his pocket and was headed to his rig when he said yes.

At first, the big colt was tougher in the chute than he should have been to be considered cowboy friendly at all, and once it opened, he wasn’t easy. He was a horse you could win it on, though, if you were smart enough to get past the start. Doing that took more than a little courage, too.

He got better as time went on. He was never scared; it wasn’t that kind of fit. Scared horses don’t buck for long. James Bond was just fit for the fight and had no sense of the rules of engagement.

“Earlier this year, past world champion Taos Muncy was 90 points on him at Rodeo Houston. He was selected for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee and helped Jacobs Crawley earn the title. He was out in the short go at Nampa, Idaho, under CoBurn Bradshaw and bucked off RFD-TV’s The American finals qualifier, Louie Brunson, in the championship round at the world famous Miles City Montana Bucking Horse Sale,” Gunderson said. “We’re hoping he qualifies for his second Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) this December in Las Vegas.”

Good horses will earn a rodeo company a name, great horses will earn them a reputation. Gunderson bought James Bond in 2014, purchased the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s stock contractor card of Bailey Pro Rodeo in 2015 and in 2016, he took his blue-eyed 6-year-old to the WNFR.

James Bond is a grandson of Burch Rodeo Company’s Old Tooke and Canada’s Kesler breeding. He’s 7 this year and getting wiser and stronger by the jump. James Bond knows when all eyes are on him and he likes it. Star status suits him and at 7, he’s got plenty of time to buck his way into the hearts of Bronc Riding Nation and the record books.