Rising Rodeo Star: Chance Schott, Badlands Circuit Bull Rider
Bucking bulls are kicking at the chutes with anticipation, AC/DC is blaring through the speakers, and the hearts of many are pounding with excitement. After waiting through six traditional rodeo events, Badlands Circuit bull rider Chance Schott clips on his helmet before sliding down upon two thousand pounds of pure muscle. He’s ready to go head to head with Sutton Rodeo’s Rock and Roll Fantasy at the Badlands Circuit Finals. He’s no stranger to the adrenaline rush; he grew up submersed in the sport of rodeo and began riding at a young age. Learn more about this rising star’s journey to the top!
Growing up, Chance admired the riders of the movie 8 Seconds; a true story of three friends and traveling partners, Lane Frost, Tuff Hedeman, and Cody Lambert. As he watched, he dreamed about living the life of rodeo contestants and competing in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In 2007, the family welcomed their first 12 head of rodeo bred bulls, but at 8 years old, Chance was too young to hang a bull rope over them. Luckily, not long after starting their own herd, he had the chance to go to Mandan, North Dakota to participate in a miniature bull riding school. After stopping the clock at 6 seconds on just his second steer, Chance was hooked. Amazed at his accomplishment, he knew this was something that he had to stick with, whatever it took.
Becoming a rodeo champion
It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and persistence before spotlight beams shine down on a champion. Injuries, technique difficulties, and mental blocks are all common complications on the road to success. For Chance, he fights with keeping his free arm under control. When riding bulls, the rider must keep one hand, called his free arm, in the air for the duration of his ride. If at any point he slaps the bull or himself, the clock stops and he will receive a no score. Their free arm is vital in covering bulls; it helps bull riders keep their balance, so it can change the outcome of each ride.
Growing up, each morning when Chance woke up, he was greeted by a Days of ‘76 poster. It served as a constant reminder to work hard for the goals he set for himself, working towards the goal of winning that rodeo some day. He hasn’t won it yet, but he is well on his way with a list of accolades that include the 2017 High School State Finals and North Dakota Rodeo Association Champion and the Reserve South Dakota Rodeo Association Champion in the same year.
What sets the RAM NCFR apart from the rest?
Chance looks forward to heading to the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee in the spring of 2021. Contestants work towards this all year and as the regular season ends, top competitors from each event qualify to compete in the regional circuit finals. Champions from the regional finals and the year-end winners from each circuit qualify for the RAM NCFR. Qualifying for a national championship rodeo is certainly something to be proud of especially when you consider everything it took to make it. Chance reflects back on his last several years, from his PRCA debut in Glendive, Montana on Baby Face for 79 points and a fourth place win, to snapping his wrist in Fort Worth last season, to ending the 2020 season as the Badlands event and year-end bull riding champion. As a two-time RAM NCFR qualifier, Chance knows what makes this rodeo special. It’s the equivalent to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for circuit contestants. One weekend out the year the nation’s best stock and deserving cowboys and cowgirls go head to head for a national championship title. Wherever the RAM NCFR is held, it’s surely a rodeo arena you want to be in.
When Chance isn’t traveling, you can find him back home farming and ranching. As a partner with Julio Moreno, Dallas Schott, and Big Stone on the 2018 PRCA Bull of the Year Spotted Demon, Chance stays busy within the bull riding industry.
In the spring, Chance will head to Kissimmee to rodeo with us at the 2021 RAM NCFR! Will we see you there? Subscribe to our Buckle Bulletin to stay up-to-date on rodeo information, ticket updates, and more contestant stories!