So many things can happen to a person in the span of a month in their life. Jackson Schmidt knows this all too well.
On June 23, Schmidt was profiled in the Democrat’s “Neighbors” feature for his success as a competitor in the Missouri/Kansas and Little Britches Rodeo Association.
Since that article, Schmidt has celebrated his ninth birthday, welcomed the birth of his baby sister Clancy Battson and has become the All Around World Finals Champion for his division in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association in a week-long competition in Guthrie, Oklahoma from July 4-10.
“It feels really good to have won because I think I worked really hard and I’m really proud of my horses,” Schmidt said. “I don’t think I did anything different at this event I just tried to stay focused and ride the best I could.”
When Schmidt began the competition, along with 150 other competitors he was in 26th place for the all-around title.
According to his mother Randi Battson, Schmidt either won or placed in the top 15 in every round to qualify for the finals.
“There were three rounds and Jackson had to place in the top 15 in each of the two go rounds to qualify for the short go,” Battson said. “He had to qualify with points in each event and there were only two people, Jackson and his best friend, Karlee (Boots), who qualified in each event.
“He rode every run like it needed to be done and we’re so very proud of him,” Battson added. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would turn out this way for him; I rode in high school and college and I didn’t accomplish in six years what he has done in just three years.”
Schmidt competed with his horses Uno and Anvil in barrel racing, poles, goat tail tying and flags.
The competition was one of the most difficult Schmidt has faced according to his father, Dustin Schmidt.
“The pole bending was probably the toughest I have ever seen,” Dustin Schmidt said. “Jackson had to do a lot of adapting because there weren’t any practice rounds at the event, he just had to go in and ride the course.
“I think throughout the week I was just really overwhelmed with emotion but I tried to keep it inside,” Schmidt added. “I didn’t want to speak the words because I didn’t want to jinx what Jackson was doing.”
As the weekend neared, Schmidt, Battson and her husband Jed Battson thought Jackson had a chance to win the title based on his success in the qualifying rounds but it was difficult to know because of how the points were calculated.
“Jackson was so focused on his events that I don’t think he realized what a title was,” Battson said. “After I explained it he told me, ‘I’m going to win a world title.’
“Even though he said that he never bragged to anyone and didn’t want us to either because he didn’t want to hurt Karlee’s feelings,” she added. “He really is amazing to be around because he is so humble and works really hard at what he does.”
Schmidt was awarded for his efforts with reserve world championship titles in pole bending and flag racing and all-around world finals champion and barrel racing world champion titles in addition to his all-around world champion title.
“I got some really nice things for winning including three saddles, 12 belt buckles and three sets of spurs and some cash prizes,” Schmidt said “I think I am really proud of the scholarship money I was given because I want to go to Texas to college on a rodeo scholarship someday.”
Schmidt also met Sedalia Mayor Stephen Galliher who presented Schmidt with some gifts and a certificate of achievement from the city last week.
“I am very proud of Jackson and all his accomplishments,” Galliher said by phone Tuesday afternoon. “This took a lot of hard work on his part especially considering that he is only 9 years old.
“He is a very polite, well-spoken young man and his accomplishments are a very good thing for himself, his family, and the community,” Galliher added.
Schmidt will age out in the peewee division and next year has plans to compete in the junior division.
“I’m going to spend some time with my family and playing ball and swimming,” Schmidt said. “I want to keep riding and competing and doing this because I really love riding and my horses.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.