BUCKLE UP

With Kolton Sch­midt

Spin to Win Rodeo - - At The Barrier - As told to Chelsea Toy

Canadian young gun Kolton Sch­midt might be in un­charted waters lead­ing the PRCA head­ing world stand­ings in 2016, but the ex­pe­ri­ence he gained north of the bor­der pre­pared him for this lead­ing role.

At age 19, Sch­midt won the Canadian Pro­fes­sional Rodeo As­so­ci­a­tion’s head­ing ti­tle in 2013 with Tyrell Flewelling. Sch­midt rode his black geld­ing, Badger, at the Canadian Fi­nals Rodeo that year, where they placed in the av­er­age. He’s made the CFR a to­tal of four times, in­clud­ing once at age 17—set­ting the record as the youngest con­tes­tant to ever qual­ify in the team rop­ing.

“I guess I learned to be­lieve in my­self,” Sch­midt said. “I had to rope against a lot of tough guys to win that.”

Sch­midt and 2016 partner Shay Car­roll are try­ing to make the CFR again en route to Sch­midt’s first Wran­gler Na­tional Fi­nals Rodeo qual­i­fi­ca­tion. They spent the early part of June rodeo­ing in Canada.

“It rains a lot,” Sch­midt said of the Canadian rodeos. “There’s not too much of a dif­fer­ence, re­ally. It’s more of a friendly, fam­ily feel at ev­ery rodeo. Every­body gets to go on the week­ends and the whole fam­ily goes along.”

Their plan for the rest of 2016 is to stick to their run, which Sch­midt be­lieves can hang with the best in the busi­ness.

“It’s a big dif­fer­ence be­tween when you think you rope good and when you know you rope good,” Sch­midt said. “I’m not say­ing I know I’m the best, but I know I can beat these guys. My run works, it’s just as good as theirs. It’s not like it’s just a chance. It’s a huge thing that’s opened my mind. I’ve got the best heeler I’ve ever had in my life, and he makes it easy.”

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