This isn’t their first rodeo, and it won’t be their last one, but now seemed like the perfect time for the Scheer family to buck up and head to the national finals.
Brothers Austin and Rylin Scheer have qualified for the junior high school national finals at the end of June in Huron, S.D., and the family decided because this is their last chance at performing together in team roping at that level, they might as well shell out the funds to make the trip.
There will be a total of 13 performances over the course of a week as the family makes the near two-day trip south.
“We just want to have fun and get a good experience of what it will be like when we’re older,” said 14-year-old Austin, who does the header portion of the team.
Brother Rylin, 12, does the healer job, and he’s been improving a lot as the boys have kept up a busy circuit doing rodeos.
The nationals will be their first big trip down south and it will give them a lot of travel time to dissect their game and get prepared.
It’s a good ritual and they are sticking to it.
“Most of our rodeos are two to three hours away,” Rylin said. “We’re always listening to music on the way there and if we do really well, we’re talking about it the whole ride back.
“If we don’t do as well, our mom or dad talks about how we could have done better at that event.
“We get a lot of chances to practice together too.”
The brothers are working great as a team and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they know each other very well in and out of the ring.
This season was a bit of a challenge though as Austin’s previous horse passed away.
The family bought him a new one, a 12-year-old quarter horse named Rocket Major Check, but it took a few competitions to get the new one comfortable with the quick starts needed for roping.
It takes a special breed to come flying out of the gate with confidence.
“It took a couple of rodeos to get him used to it,” said Stacie Scheer, the boys’ mother. “He had never been through a barrier line.
“It took him a little bit to get used to that. Seeing as how he’s a 14-year-old kid, it’s pretty easy for him to make the transition.”
Austin is heading into Grade 9 this fall at Langdon School, so the pair won’t be able to compete together in high school rodeos for a year, but eventually they both will be coming to Chestermere High School.
That put the onus on going to South Dakota, even though it won’t be cheap. The boys have done a couple of bottle drives to help ease the burden for funding, as every little bit helps when it comes to covering travel costs.
It wasn’t until the duo finished third at provincials that they made the commitment to head to nationals. They hope to also be part of the Canadian finals at the end of July in Merritt, B.C., but this will be a big event for them.
“It was a goal to make it but we weren’t really planning on taking them,” Stacie said. “Because it’s Austin’s last year in junior high rodeo and they made it together in the team event, we started to think we should take them.
“You have to let them know the day of the finals. We had to sign them up and pay all their fees that night. It was a quick decision.”