If you won $100,000 you might take some time off work to celebrate. Not Cort Scheer. Just a few days after winning the Calgary Stampede’s Saddle Bronc event last month, he was back on the road competing in rodeos across the United States.
“Well, right now we’re driving down to Idaho to compete in a rodeo on Friday,” Scheer explains. “Then, on Saturday we’re off to California for the Salinas Rodeo. Then, it’s off to . . . ”
He continues naming one rodeo after another and it becomes clear that for the 27-year-old saddle bronc rider, who hails from Nebraska, the Calgary Stampede, in Alberta, is one of the many stops along the rodeo circuit — although he stresses, it’s a very important one.
“The Calgary Stampede is a life-changer for cowboys. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this rodeo and the sponsors who support this sport.”
Indeed, sponsors are integral to rodeo, enabling local community and world-renowned rodeos alike to take place year after year and offer cash prize purses to contestants. For companies such as TransCanada, sponsoring rodeos is a show of support for local communities.
“We sponsor a number of rodeos throughout North America, from Calgary, Innisfail (Alta.) and Stavely (Alta.) to Houston (Texas), Butte (Mont.) and Winnsboro (Texas),” explains Marie Rajic, manager, Corporate Social Responsibility. “It allows us to encourage events that are significant to the communities in which we operate, support local culture and further our relationships with local landowners.”
For Scheer, sponsors help him keep doing what he does best — riding saddle broncs. This year was Scheer’s first time competing in the Calgary Stampede Saddle Bronc competition, an event that TransCanada has sponsored since 2006.
For his winning ride in the saddle bronc competition, Scheer rode Spring Planting, a bronc he had ridden last December at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.. There, Spring Planting tossed the cowboy at the seven second mark.
“Horses are incredibly smart animals. They can feel every muscle in your body when you are on them and they know what you are up to. If they can’t buck you off one way, they’ll try something different,” explains the young cowboy.
“With Spring Planting, he’ll be going straight and if he hasn’t already bucked you off, he’ll go sideways to throw you off balance.”
It takes a great amount of skill to stay centred atop a bronc that suddenly decides to take a hard left or right. Without perfect balance and absolute synchronization with the animal’s movements, a cowboy doesn’t stand a chance of completing his eight-second ride.
“Spring Planting went sideways on me at the national finals. That’s how I fell off him,” says Scheer. “He did it to me at the Calgary Stampede too, but this time I was prepared.”
Prepared he was. Scheer scored a 93.5 score out of a possible 100 during Showdown Sunday.
“I could feel it was going to be a good ride. He was really firing his legs out and was really up under himself,” he says.
In other words, Spring Planting was kicking hard with every buck and keeping his body tight and compact, allowing him to explode with energy.
When asked about his winnings, Scheer says, “This is by far the most amount of money I’ve ever taken home. I want to use it to build a house out on the land I own in Stephenville, Texas.”
Scheer, who graduated university with an Agricultural Business degree, owns a cattle farm with his brother and father in Elsemere, Nebraska. Despite his hefty winnings, he doesn’t plan on taking a break from saddle bronc riding.
In fact, that house he wants to build in Stephenville, Texas? He wants to build it so he and the guys can practice their craft year-round.
“There are so many amazing bucking horses out there. I just want to get on as many as I can.”