story by Lindsay Humphrey The race for Vegas is stiff, no matter the age or experience of the competitor. Just like the pros in the […]
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Meet the Member Dilynn Schafer
By Lindsay Humphrey
Of all the years Dilynn Schafer’s been rodeoing, 2022 is turning out to be one of her best so far. The 12-year-old grew up riding horses simply because that’s what her mom – Nicki – liked to do. “I always wanted to ride when my mom was and I fell in love with it,” said the seventh grader from Chandler, Oklahoma. “I was probably 5 when I first really started riding and then I was going places the year after that. My very first event was barrels, and I knew that’s what I really wanted to do.” Dilynn’s love for the clover leaf pattern landed her in Guthrie, Oklahoma, this past June at the Lance Graves International Barrel Race & Futurity. That’s where she entered a KK Run for Vegas event. She laid down a smokin’ hot 15.925 run in the junior barrels.
“There were a lot of good runs, and I had no clue where I would place because both divisions were together. I was so excited when they called my name. I had won my division and now I get to go to Vegas in December.” Qualifying for a big event has been in the back of Dilynn’s mind for a few years now and she’s been keeping an eye on the KK Run for Vegas schedule. When she heard there would be one just 45 minutes away from her house at the Lazy E, she couldn’t resist asking her parents if she could enter. “I have a lot of people who help me rodeo, by my parents are definitely the biggest help. My mom is at every event with me, and my dad (Matthew) holds down the fort at home when he can’t come with us.”
Another big influence in Dilynn’s rodeo career is Sarah Miller. “My mom had to work during the Lance Graves race, so Sarah was my Uber driver for that. She’s always helping us with horses when we need her.” Sarah stepped that help up to a whole new level while Dilynn was competing for the 2023 Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Princess title in Woodward, Oklahoma. The horse Dilynn intended to ride for horsemanship colicked just hours after arriving in Woodward. After a trip to the vet, he landed at Sarah’s house while Dilynn and Nicki continued with the pageant. “That’s the horse I use for poles. She’s okay now, thankfully. I had to borrow my friend’s horse for the pageant. I was really nervous to ride him because I had never been on him before. After we got to know each other, he did amazing for me.”
This isn’t the first time Dilynn’s hat has been embellished with a crown. She’s currently serving as Little Miss CPRA. “I love the sport of rodeo and I love to represent it. Being a rodeo queen is a great way to do that.” She’s been entering pageants as long as she’s been competing in rodeo events. Dilynn’s main mount is 13-year-old Cruz. Even though Dilynn’s been riding Cruz for almost two years now, it wasn’t until this summer that the 15-hand sorrel gelding officially became her horse. “He was our friend’s horse that I was just using, and we had been trying to get her to let us buy him for a while. Just before the qualifier, we finally got to buy him. I like how fast he runs to the barrels. Sometimes it feels like he isn’t going to make the turn, but he always does.”
This coming December will be the first time Dilynn gets to haul a horse to Vegas. She’s gone in the past with her various queen titles and simply as a spectator for the NFR. “Going to Vegas is going to be a lot different this year because we have to drive instead of fly. I just want to make it there and back safely and have clean runs. I’m excited that I get to take care of Cruz and even ride him out there.” Dilynn’s entire family, including her siblings – Riley, 14, and Jhett, 9 – will be headed out to Vegas to cheer her on during her very first Junior World Finals.