I wanna go fast
Who’s Shai Schaefer? The Breakaway Roper That Just Went 1.5 in San Antonio

Shai Schaefer had possibly the most frustrating day ahead of her run at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Semifinals run. That was, until she backed into the box and nodded.

Shai Schaefer's name is going in the history books at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo with a 1.5-second breakaway run.
Shai Schaefer's name is going in the history books at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo with a 1.5-second breakaway run. Photo by Hailey Rae

Shai Schaefer blew the doors off in the first of two Semifinals at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo on Feb. 22, 2024, setting a new arena record with a 1.5-second run and earning $5,000 for the round win.

“After I won last night, all I could do was cry,” Schaefer, 29, said. “When you back in the box knowing you have to be 2-flat to have a chance [at advancing], I was thinking, ‘It’s either going to work or it’s not.’”

The semifinal was tight, with Cassidy Boggs and Maddy Deerman tying for No. 2 with 1.8-second runs, while Erin Johnson and Joey Williams collected the remainder of the checks with 1.9-second runs. From Schaefer’s view late in the set, it was do or die.

“In the box I was super tight, and right before I would call for my calf, my horse Ricky would flinch,” Schaefer said. “I was pulling my hand and anticipating my start. I reset him a couple of times and when I felt him lock on. When I nodded, the calf went straight, and I knew if he stayed that way we would really have a shot. I envisioned roping the dummy, kept my swings the same speed and brought my hands together. I wanted to do the little things right in hopes it would all play out.”

Play out it did, and Schaefer will be returning for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Short Go on Saturday, Feb. 24. For the Lake Creek, Texas resident, the win couldn’t have come at a better time.

Shai Schaefer made a statement during Semifinals 1 on Thursday night at the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
Shai Schaefer made a statement during Semifinals 1 on Thursday night at the 2024 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Photo by Hailey Rae

“Coming into town I blew a tire on the trailer, so I pulled off and didn’t have the right sized sockets for my impact,” Schaefer said. “Some people stopped and helped, and got the spare on, and as I am pulling away the spare just disintegrates.”

After limping to multiple tire shops on the metal rim, Schaefer was informed that her air bags had blown on the trailer and the hub for the troublesome tire was about to give out. She managed to make it to Frost Stadium on a new tire and saved the worry about her trailer until after the performance.

About Shai Schaefer: Schaefer grew up in the Northwest before predominately attending college at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. She married Kyon Kreutzer and upon graduating college, began teaching special education students. In 2023 Schaefer left the in-person classroom in favor of teaching online, making it easier for her to peruse rodeo. She credits her growth in breakaway to teachers Raymond and Jordan Jo Hollabaugh, who she met while in college.

“I wanna go fast!” – Shai Schaefer’s horse Ricky

Schaefer’s 8-year-old gelding “Ricky” is aptly named for his desire to run down calves all the time. Registered as “Sir Tango Time,” Ricky traces to Smart Little Lena and Grays Starlight on top and San Peppy Badger on the bottom, making him the quintessential cutting horse.

“He’s kind of a, ‘Touch me not,’” Schaefer said. “Just a business guy that likes to go fast, and he’s not for everybody. He’s not good everywhere, but he’s good at setups like San Antonio because he’s pretty flat and easy to throw on.”

Schaefer and Ricky will be back in the arena for the short go on Saturday. Next on their list is the Rodeo Austin qualifier before a circle in Arizona and back for the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo.

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