Tiffany Schieck’s rookie year on the professional rodeo trail yielded big results, including becoming the WCRA’s newest breakaway roping champion at the Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo, held Dec. 17, 2022, in Fort Worth.
For stopping the clock at 2.57, the 29-year-old Floresville, Texas, resident is walking away with a $15,000 champion’s check and $1,200 in go-round money.
“This is my first big check with my name on it, that I can hold” Schieck said excitedly. “It’s going in my room over my bed or something.”
Cowtown Christmas Curriculum
Schieck’s first opportunity to rope in the Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo came on Friday, Dec. 16, against seven other women, including NFBR qualifier Taylor Hanchey and Hali Williams, who grew up team roping in the USTRC ranks. Now, Williams is focused on her breakaway roping, and it earned her the Friday night win when she stopped the clock in 2.19 seconds.
Schieck finished behind Williams with a 2.65-second run, worth $1,200 and a qualification to Saturday’s Showdown Round. There, she and Williams saddled up against the top two winners from rounds 1 and 2, and the woman at the top of the WCRA leaderboard—2022 World Champion Breakaway Roper Martha Angelone.
Schieck delivered a 2.34-second catch, good for another second-place finish and entry into the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round on Saturday night. Only three breakaway ropers qualified for this final round: Schieck, Round 2’s first-place finisher Maelee Wade and Angelone.
As Schieck awaited her turn to rope, she stood alongside the sport’s newly crowned World Champion. When fellow competitor Maelee Wade failed to catch, Schieck threw her 2.57—complete with some fishing. Angelone followed with a broken barrier, making Schieck the $15,000 Cowtown Christmas champion.
The win came after Schieck had been in Las Vegas for two weeks working at the WCRA qualifier events during the NFR.
“I’ve practiced twice since I got home,” Schieck said. “[My loops] didn’t feel pretty. None of them felt good. I don’t even know what to say about them. They stressed me out.”
Schieck’s rookie year included plenty of lessons learned and big moments, like splitting the win in the breakaway at Cheyenne Frontier Days in July. Her teammate? A disgruntled grade palomino mare named “Susie” that Schieck purchased a few years ago from some neighbors for about $2,000.
“Susie is not the hardest stopper,” Schieck said. “She works out for me because she just lets me crawl all over her and do what I want to do. She waits for me to tell her to stop. That’s where she came in today; I saw I didn’t have [the catch] and she let me get it on.”
When The Breakaway Roping Journal caught up with Schieck earlier this year, she explained that Susie had originally been a practice horse before shocking her with veteran behavior at a rodeo.
“The first rodeo we took her to, she couldn’t have cared less about anything,” Schieck said in August. “She was practically sleeping beforehand, backed in the box perfect, ran straight and went back and just relaxed.”
The key to keeping Susie happy, according to Schieck, is lot of treats.
“After my first run [in Fort Worth], I went into my rope can,” Schieck explained. “And one time, I carried a treat in my rope can and now she thinks there is a treat in my rope can.”
When Susie excels, Schieck rewards the horse with German horse muffins she calls “money treats.” Sometimes, Schieck promises Susie new garments like slinkies and fly masks for a job well done, too. As a result, it seems Susie likes the rodeo road.
As 2022 draws to a close, Schiek plans to hit the ground running in 2023. Despite her successful rookie season, she won’t be cutting herself any slack in the horsemanship or practice department.
“It’s good to finish the year on this,” Schiek said. “It just proves that I need to keep going this winter. This [momentum] will help me for this summer. I am going to stick to my plan of just roping them. Maybe try to get snappier loops around the necks.”
Getting a rope in her hand more and honing her timing out of the box are also on her to-do list, as well as some notable rodeos.
On the map for 2023 are Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston—all venues in which Schiek has never competed.
“We’re still learning,” Schiek said with a smile.
WCRA All Day
In addition to being a successful WCRA competitor, Schiek is also a breakaway and tie-down representative for the association. She says the job lets her work remotely, and the rodeo trail helps her promote the WCRA among her peers.
To qualify for Cowtown Christmas herself, Schieck nominated one “D1” level event and then stuck around Fort Worth nominating smaller, multi-head jackpots.
In total, the WCRA’s Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo—a Triple Crown of Rodeo event—paid out $360,000.
|Final Placing||Athlete Name||Hometown||Go Round Earnings||Triple Crown Time||Triple Crown Earnings||Total Earnings|
|1||Tiffany Schieck||Floresville, Texas||$1,200||2.57||$15,000||$16,200|
|2||Martha Angelone||Cross Junction, Virginia||$0||6.79||$6,500||$6,500|
|3||Maelee Wade||White, Georgia||$1,600||N/A||$0||$1,600|