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  • Family snags honours at Alberta High School Rodeo finals


    Rylin Scheller holds up his buckle that he won for team roping at the Alberta High School Rodeo finals in Olds.


    Austin Scheller holds up his buckle that he won for ribbon roping at the Alberta High School Rodeo finals in Olds.

    Thanks to their lightning lasso work, the Schellers will be tied up most of the weekends this summer.
    The roping family that lives just north of Langdon had planned on taking in as many rodeos as they could on the Foothills Cowboys Association circuit over the next few months, but then the kids had a very successful weekend at the Alberta High School Rodeo championship May 27-28 in Olds.
    Thirteen-year-old Austin Scheller teamed up with his 12-year-old cousin Shayanna Scheller to win the ribbon roping event, plus Austin and 11-year-old brother Rylin finished fifth in team roping. Rylin was also named rookie of the year.
    The two placings mean the trio qualify for the Canadian High School Finals Rodeo in Nanton from July 27-29. For the Scheller family, they work during the week and rope on the weekends with lots of travelling in between, but every member of the family participates in some fashion.
    “We get to spend a lot of quality time together,” said Stacie Scheller.
    “Every weekend we seem to be going somewhere. Canadians is going to be three days in Nanton. It’s going to be a full summer following the boys around. It’s a four-horse with a 20-foot living quarters with bunk beds. We just stay and camp down there.”
    Stacie, who ropes as well, could barely contain herself while her boys were competing in the Alberta finals.
    “I get more nervous watching them than I do when I’m actually competing,” Scheller said. “It’s quite the feeling sitting there watching though. I’m pretty proud.”
    The family has five horses on their property and also trains around three to four times a week at a relative’s place near Chestermere. The boys have been roping since they were six and seven, and the hard work has paid off.
    At least their horses are veterans. Rylin’s heel horse, who serves as the ribbon roping horse, is a 21-year-old named Shorty, while Austin’s header horse is a 17-year-old named Teddy.
    The win in the Alberta finals qualified Austin and Shayanna for the nationals final in Tennessee and Silver State in Nevada, but they won’t be going due to costs.
    “With taking horses, it would be around $6,000-$7,000,” Stacie said. “It was a bit too much. There is enough around here for them to do. We still ordered Austin his national qualifying jacket.”
    The Scheller boys have big dreams of becoming ropers professionally. They’ve been taking lessons with reigning world team roping champion Levi Simpson from Ponoka, and Austin has already pictured himself in the big-time infield.
    “I like travelling, so it would be fun to travel around and rodeo,” said Austin, who loves competing with his family members and sharing in the glory with them. “It’s pretty cool. You have to support each and help each other out. If one partner is down on the other one, then they aren’t really confident. You have to build trust.
    “It’s just fun, the drive to do it. It’s exciting.”
    With the win, Austin and Shayanna get banners at Langdon School, which will be a great reminder of what they have done in the infield.
    “High schools just started recognizing rodeo as a sport,” Stacie said. “They do need to get permission from their principal to go to all these rodeos. They need to have their grades up and have a clean record.”