story by Ruth Nicolaus Shylene Drumm is a five-time Colorado Junior High School Rodeo champion. This year, she won the pole bending, breakaway roping, goat […]
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Meet the Member: Barrett Schlieker
By Lily Weinacht
“Rodeo is something I was born in the world with,” says 13-year-old Barrett Schlieker. The cowboy from Fort Lupton, Colo., is entering his second year in the CJHSRA, and though he was just one out of qualifying for the NJHFR in goat tying this summer, he won the NLBRA Junior Boys World Champion Flag Racing title in July at the 2015 NLBFR. “It’s my first world title, and it felt good,” says Barrett. “I was surprised that I won, but I felt pretty good about how I performed.”
Watching his parents, Brandon and Suzanne Schlieker, compete in team roping and barrel racing, Barrett had no doubt that he should do the same. His junior high events include team roping as a heeler, goat tying, and breakaway roping, and he is also adding chute dogging and ribbon roping to his list of events this season. “Team roping is my favorite, and of all my events right now, it’s the most challenging,” says Barrett, who is roping with Rory Beach for the first time this season. “I like to rodeo because of the opportunity to win saddles and buckles, and doing my best to get to those goals.”
Barrett practices daily with his dad, and he says, “I look up to my dad. He helps me with all my events, and since he’s a header, we get to rope together at jackpots.” Barrett’s mom still competes as well, barrel racing at local jackpots and open rodeos. The family makes their home about 40 minutes outside of Fort Lupton, where they grow grass and alfalfa hay. Barrett’s favorite job on the farm is helping his dad put up hay.
The Schliekers own several horses, which include Barrett’s horses, Doug and Largo. “Doug used to be my dad’s rope horse, but when I started team roping, I took him over,” Barrett says of the 19-year-old gelding. “I also use him for ribbon roping and breakaway roping. And for flag racing, I use a 19-year-old gelding named Largo.” Barrett trained Largo for flag racing, and since the pair started Little Britches flag racing six years ago, they went from trotting the pattern to winning the world title.
An eighth grader at Fort Lupton Middle School, Barrett’s favorite subject is math. He is currently embarking on his first year of Algebra. He’ll also be playing basketball this winter with the Blue Devils, who were the season champions in 2012 and 2013. As soon as he gets home from school, Barrett puts on his favorite study music – often George Strait – and finishes his homework before going out to practice until it’s too dark to see. Otherwise, he’s helping his dad with custom farming, while his mom works for Nestle Sales Division as sales support. “Whenever she goes into the office, she gets free ice cream, but she mostly works at home,” Barrett explains. The family also enjoys target shooting and hunting deer and elk, and this fall will be the first time Barrett can join in the elk hunting. “I’ll go hunting with my dad and my uncle, and we’ll find a place to camp and stay for the weekend,” says Barrett.
When it comes time to rodeo, his favorite junior high rodeo is state finals. “I like it because you have to step your game up a little bit.” Barrett never leaves for a rodeo without his two dogs, Jack and Daisy, and his favorite sunflower seeds. He adds, “My goal is to make it to junior high nationals, and then high school rodeo. I plan to farm like my dad, and stick with rodeo as I grow up.”