After sitting down with barrel racer Kim Schulze before her first run on opening day of the 2019 National Western Stock Show, I would never have guessed the trials and tribulations that she has faced over the past two years. Her personality and perspective on life truly inspired me, and I cannot wait to share her story with you.
This Colorado cowgirl is no stranger to the rodeo world. The two-time Mountain States Circuit champion has won numerous rodeos throughout her career. From 2009 to 2015, Schulze collected a total of $206,952 in earnings from rodeos across the Rocky Mountain Region. Even with all of the notoriety and success she has received, it didn’t keep her from falling on hard times. Within the past two years, Schulze has been faced with a life-threatening accident, the death of her mother, and having to put down one of her favorite horses.
Nearly two years ago, the famed barrel racer was unloading a friend’s horse when she was kicked in the stomach and launched backwards, putting her in the hospital with damage to her liver.
“I almost died, it was a pretty big impact. I’m good now, it will be two years in February and I am pretty much healed up,” said Schulze. “I have a few minor things that still bother me, but other than that I am okay.”
Following her accident, she experienced the pain of losing her mother that left an everlasting mark on her life.
“She was so proud of me,” Schulze said. “I could have had the worst run and she would have always had a positive thing to say.”
The influence her mom had on her barrel racing career can still be felt in Schulze’s runs to this day. One of the first rodeos Schulze raced in after her mom’s death was the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs, Colo. Schulze said she could picture her mom in heaven cheering her on.
“When I won the semi-finals at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, I came out and had to run again in about 45 minutes, and I was just balling,” said Kim. “All I wanted was to win that rodeo for my mom.”
In addition to dealing with her mother’s death, Kim also was faced with the difficulty of putting down the horse that gave her all of her initial success in the barrel racing world.
“It was extremely hard on me, but God was telling me that when I get knocked down I just have to trust him and his plan and get back up again,” said Schulze.
Schulze is an inspiration not only to barrel
“I entered Denver and thought there is no way I am going to get into Denver because I only went to 10 rodeos last year. I entered Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and thought there is no way and then I got in,” said Schulze.
With faith being a huge part of Kim’s life, it has been one of the most influential things that has helped her get through the past two years. What would have kept most people down and out caused Schulze to find her strength and do what she loved again.
“After all of the tragedy that I have been through it has brought me closer to my faith and God, and that in itself has been worth it,” said Schulze.