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On The Trail with Cort Scheer
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Cort Scheer is building his retirement one bronc at a time. The Elsmere, Nebraska, cowboy will top $1 million by the end of this season and he has managed his earnings well, investing in cattle for his family’s ranch in Nebraska and a piece of property in Stephenville, Texas. “I bought a place to fix up since I’m there for the winter and go to rodeos,” said the 32-year-old, who has been running down the rodeo road with the PRCA for eight years. “I’ve built the house and barn and this winter I’ll build the arena. Then I’ll sell it and get a bigger place.” At the end of his rodeo career, Cort plans to return to the family ranch, expand it, and run cattle with his brother, Clete. Right now, Cort doesn’t get home too often – maybe one month total each year. “It’s awesome,” he says of his home in Nebraska. “Cell phone don’t work, no town within 50 miles – it’s perfect –it’s just the ranch.”
Cort grew up there, traveling 40 miles one way to school. “We got on a bus 20 miles from home.” There was no activity bus and since Cort was big into football and wrestling, he and his older brother and sister (Kema) drove themselves. “My brother and sister packed me around until I was old enough to drive.” In Nebraska, that age is 14. He spent the rest of his time working on the ranch. He learned how to ride broncs from his dad, Kevin, who rodeoed until he got married and his uncle.
He started by riding sheep and then started riding in eighth grade, the earliest his dad would let him. He competed in the Nebraska high school rodeo, making Nationals every year. He won the Nebraska High School All around, competing in steer wrestling, calf roping, and saddle bronc riding. He played running back and corner back in football. “I liked it – I wanted to play football more than rodeo but I was too short and slow.
“He’s always been a blessing – I like to say he’s as good a person as he is a bronc rider,” said his mom, Pam, fondly referred to as Grammy Pam. “I’m glad he stands up for what he believes in.” She also adds. “God really blessed him with this talent and I’m thankful that he’s walking with the Lord. He brings a lot of joy and happiness to this family.” Pam also loves ranch life in Nebraska. “I open my window up every morning to the Sandhills,” said the 22-year-veteran teacher that will be going on her second mission trip to Guatemala. She drives 28 miles each way to work each day to teach third grade.
Cort went to college in Garden City and ended up at Panhandle State. “It’s always been the powerhouse in the bronc riding,” said his dad. “He was in the bronc riding region and was there for three years and I think that has a lot to do with his ability. I raised horses for a few years and he got on those colts, but he did most of his practicing down south.” Kevin is proud of all his kids. “I tried to raise my kids so they would go after what they wanted, and Cort has.
When Cort does something, he goes all in – he’s pretty committed to anything he sets his mind to doing.” Kevin quit riding to pursue his first love, the ranch and his family. “I rodeoed at one a year on Labor Day to celebrate the end of haying, so they saw me ride once a year. I like ranching, it’s something I’ve done all my life.”
Cort travels with two other bronc riders, and the three some make the best of the many hours on the road. “It’s been Tyler, Chet, and I for years.” He does a bit of hauling on his own, and spends the windshield time listening to music. “I’m a rocker, a big AC/DC fan and anything old country.” The day to day life on the road is pretty much the same. “We roll in an hour before, ease on up to the bucking chutes, and ride, go back to the van, and hang out. Lots of times we stay at a buddy’s house along the way, that’s a good thing about being older, you know everybody. It’s a big family, the door is always open, the light is always on.”
He doesn’t check the standings very often. “I let the numbers take care of themselves and worry about my riding. If I’m riding good, the numbers will work.” He has stuck to bronc riding since high school. “I blew my knee out one year and riding broncs was paying me pretty good so I didn’t want to jeopardize my knee.” As a veteran on the road, he thinks it’s easier than it was at the beginning of his career. “When I was younger I didn’t pay attention to my eating and being healthy like I do now,” he said. “I try to stay away from fried foods – now I eat more Cliff bars – low in sugar and high in protein. Even though I don’t work out, wherever I’m at I try to work at something. I figure if you’re working, you’re working out.” Entering is easier too. “After so many years, you hit the same trail – just different days up.” The quality of stock has improved as well. “It’s light years from where I started, with the futurity broncs, they are big and strong. They are so athletic, 1,400 pounds jumping 6 feet in the air.” His advice to stay on is simple. “Lift on your rein and a good spur out and hustle; you’re coming down if you don’t.”
“I like riding broncs, but I’d like to be home. My body is doing good, saddle doing good – I’ll keep doing it until they quit paying me. Then I’ll go home.” Until then, he is enjoying his rodeo days. “You dang sure have some stories when you sit in your rocking chairs.”
Cort Scheer summary of accomplishments include:
4x National High School Finals Qualifier
2002 National High School Rookie Bronc Rider
2004 Nebraska High School Steer Wrestling Champion
2005 Nebraska High School Champion Saddle Bronc, Calf Roping, Steer Wrestler, & All Around
4x College National
2006 Central Plains Region Saddle Bronc Champion
2008 Big Sky Region Champion Bronc Rider, Steer Wrestler, & All Around
2011 Rodeo Houston
Champion Bronc Rider & Shootout Champ
2013 Calgary Saddle Bronc Champ
5x Wrangler National
Finals Rodeo Qualifier
2016 Champion ERA Bronc Rider
4x Canadian Finals Qualifier
2018 The American
Champion Bronc Rider
Pendleton & Denver Champ