Sports Other Sports

Bull Rider Schiffner continues to do what he loves

By Kelsey Yates

Scott Schiffner, from Strathmore, Alta., competed in the bull riding events at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo

Scott Schiffner, from Strathmore, Alta., competed in the bull riding events at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo

 Alberta-born and raised Scott Schiffner has dedicated 21 years of his life to the adrenaline-pumping sport of bull riding.

 

“I come from a ranching and rodeo family,” said Schiffner. “I grew up roping quite a bit and we were little started riding sheep then steers.”

Originally born and raised in Stettler, Alta., he moved to Strathmore after getting married and still ranches there with his family.

“I’ve never ever thought of leaving Alberta,” said Schiffner.

“Alberta has the best of everything. Within a three-hour drive you can go from the prairies to the moutains. We’ve got beef, cattle and oil – everything that I grew up loving. I’ve travelled all over the world, but this is still always home.”

Schiffner discovered his talent for bull riding at a young age, when he began riding steers at age 15. While he doesn’t consider himself an adrenaline junkie, he does say that the desire to win is his main drive.

“Anywhere I can go and win is one of my favourites,” he laughed.

“It’s something that I love, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be successful at it.”

Over his career, Schiffner has celebrated many wins and successes including being placed in the Canadian Finals Rodeo 17 times.

He was selected to give a private bull riding demonstration to Prince William and Kate during their visit to the Calgary Stampede in 2011.

In 2012, he was the overall bull riding champion at the Ponoka Stampede, which is one of Canada’s top rodeos.

Also in 2012, Schiffner accompanied the Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a Canadian Trade Mission to China to represent a true Canadian Cowboy.

In 2014, he took home the bronze trophy in the Calgary Stampede.

Schiffner is also currently in the top 100 bull riders for most earnings made over their careers.

He visits about 20 rodeos a year, but at the peak of his career, he would compete in upwards of 100.

Schiffner still spends a lot of his time on the road during rodeo season.

He visited the Airdrie Pro Rodeo to compete from June 28 to July 1 before heading off to Williams Lake, B.C.

He is then scheduled to compete at the Ponoka Stampede, and then on to the Calgary Stampede after a week off.

The 38-year-old has slowed down, but currently doesn’t have any plans to retire from the sport. When he isn’t working on his ranch, he rides practice bulls throughout the year, and keeps up with stretching, cardio, and core strength.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my career, but in this sport, you’re going to get injuries no matter how you do it,” said Schiffner, who has suffered from a broken femur, tibia, and torn bicep over the years.

After being injured, he said that the support of the Sports Medicine team really helps with his recovery.

“Also just the drive to win, makes me want to get back on a bull,” said Schiffner.

Schiffner has made a point of being an active spokesperson and ambassador for the sport of rodeo to lessen the misconceptions that some people may have.

“It’s a big part of our heritage,” he said.

“It’s a culture that’s dying, and how it’s the west was settled and won. A lot of urban people don’t realize that what we do in the rodeo is the same thing we did a hundred years ago.”

 



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