By: Julia Dondero
Wacey Schalla is no stranger to the winner’s circle and has continued to climb the rodeo world ranks as a multi-event rough stock rider and bull breeder. Recently, the 17-year-old rode his way to the top of a gritty CINCH World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR) presented by Montana Silversmith Bull Riding World Championship race.
The passion to not only become a successful Bull Rider but also a leader in the bucking bull business has propelled the young entrepreneur and bull rider to prestigious stages, like the WCJR.
The recent high school graduate now enters a new chapter of his life as a two-time WCJR World Champion. The multi-event rough stock rider is no stranger to seeing his name at the top of the leaderboards, albeit this accolade sits highly on the young cowboy’s expansive resume. In July alone, Schalla wrote his name in several history books as the 2023 National High School Finals Rodeo All Around and Bull Riding Champion, and just a few weeks later-the WCJR Bull Riding Champion.
Schalla entered the historic event as the reigning Bull Riding Champion and had his eyes set on defending his title at the Fabulous Lazy E Arena. Although Schalla’s strategic nominations earned him a seeded position in the Semi-Finals Round, he chose to use the opportunity to hop on more bulls.
“It’s a great opportunity to earn a high payout and compete on great stock and large stages,” explained Schalla, who took home over $8,500 in earnings.
Schalla also expressed how this experience will prepare him for his next big goal– the 2024 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“Competing at this level of competition has prepared me mentally and physically for larger stages. I’ve learned to handle my nerves and not think about it. When I turn 18, I plan to compete professionally with the goal of qualifying for the NFR” said Schalla.
The 2023 WCJR also allowed the talent from Arapaho, Okla. to combine his two greatest passions– raising and riding bulls, in one place. In addition to chasing his professional rodeo dreams, Schalla also raises his own bucking bulls, even bringing 15 head to the WCJR.
As the competition boiled down to the highly anticipated Championship Round, Schalla found himself victorious atop one of his own bulls. Having this harmonious moment of success will forever remain a highlight for the standout Bull Rider.
“It was so exciting to win this title again, especially on my stock. This rodeo has provided such great stock and it was an honor to have my bulls in the mix”, explained Schalla, who has ambitions of raising top bulls, in addition to riding them.
Schalla also competes in Bareback Riding and Saddle Bronc Riding and now prepares for the next chapter of his life– collegiate and professional rodeo. With his sights set on competing professionally when he turns 18, Schalla will also rodeo for Clarendon College underneath head coach and NFR Saddle Bronc Rider, Bret Franks.
Schalla also graciously accredits his dad, Luke, Clay Taylor, and World Champion Bull Rider Cody Custer as mentors and influential impacts on his career and character. Looking towards this next chapter of the Oklahoman’s life, he expressed his gratitude for the WCJR and WCRA. “The opportunities presented at these rodeos have made a great impact on my career and I can’t wait for the next one.”