HEMPSTEAD, Texas – Virtually every year of his young life, Dylan Schroeder has attended the Waller County Fair and Rodeo.
It was more than a family tradition; it was a major event, and he knew what it meant for the communities in the county of 51,000. His father, Paul, is a former Waller County Fair Association board member.
“I grew up watching this rodeo every year, and it’s an honor to be able to ride here,” said Dylan Schroeder, who owns the steer wrestling lead at this year’s rodeo after posting a 4.2-second run during Thursday’s opening night. “To make a good run really feels good.
“This is my third year here, and I have never done any good here. I finally drew a good steer and got to use him.”
Hempstead’s rodeo is the first of the 2020 season. ProRodeo’s regular season runs from Oct. 1-Sept. 30 ever year, so it’s a chance to start the new campaign off on a good foot. For 2019, Schroeder finished the season 13th in the Texas Circuit standings, one spot out of qualifying for the regional finale that will take place at Waco, Texas, in January.
That’s not too bad for a man that was still testing the ProRodeo waters a week ago. In this sport, newcomers to the game compete on their permits, meaning they need to earn at least $1,000 in the year to earn the right to compete as full-fledged Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association members.
Schroeder ended his year as the No. 3 bulldogger in the permit-holder standings and has transitioned to his rookie season. As with any person who plays this game, the ultimate goal is to advance to the National Finals Rodeo and compete for the elusive world championship. More immediate, though, he’d love to win the PRCA’s Rookie of the Year title.
“You’ve got to travel pretty hard to make that happen,” said Schroeder, a 22-year-old cowboy who will graduate from Texas A&M in December. “I want to thank (fellow bulldogger) Cade Stanton for letting me ride his good yellow horse since mine got hurt. If it wasn’t for his great team of horses, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’ve been doing lately.”
Of course, a big part of what’s leading him to success is the support he gets from his family and from so many others in Waller County.
“I wouldn’t be here today without my family’s backing and help,” he said. “I grew up playing other sports, and they rodeod. One year we went to the NFR, and I came home and I said I wanted to get back into this.
“We went from having one horse to 12 horses in about two months, so I had to learn on the fly just to catch up with the competition.”
Waller County Fair and Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Craig Wisehart, 82 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Kattle Katie; 2. Waylon Guy Bourgeois, 79; 3. Tim Murphy, 77; 4. Tyler Berghus, 76.5; 5. Tucker Zingg, 75; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Dylan Schroeder, 4.2 seconds; 2. Cade Staton, 5.4; 3. Ryan Nettle, 5.5; 4. Justin Shaffer, 6.3; 5. Remey Parrott, 6.7; no other qualified runs.
Team roping: 1. Mason Boettcher, 4.6 seconds; 2. Landon McClaugherty/Joel Hurta, 12.1; no other qualified runs.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Logan James Hay, 75 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Silver Coast; 2. Riggin Smith, 73; 3. Toby Collins 70; 4. Ben Andersen, 61; no other qualified rides.
Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Russell Schilling, 11.2 seconds; 2. Trenton Smith, 11.3; 3. Regan Holcomb, 12.8; 4. Todd Danley, 15.1; no other qualified runs.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Kassidy Lovell, 15.76 seconds; 2. Alyssa Urbanek, 15.79; 3. Miranda Emmert, 15.81; 4. Tiany Schuster, 15.96; 5. Callie Albrecht, 16.36; 6. Shelby Hermann, 21.11; 7. Amanda Slaughter, 21.85; no other qualified runs.
Bull riding: 1. Jacob O’Mara, 80 points on Lancaster & Jones’ Bust a Jigg; no other qualified rides.