Riley Schumacher was born Oct. 22, 2011 to Marie Rush and Justin Schumacher in Colorado Springs. When she was two, she was given a pony and was soon riding high and breaking records. She began her equestrian career with the Lake George Outfitters and Gymkhana in Lake George, where she got her start in competition.
Now at only age nine, Riley already has several awards under her belt through the Lake George Outfitters, America’s Mountain Barrel Racing and Ute Pass Saddle Club. The most recent was in October when she won Grand High Point Champion at Mile Hi Barrel Horse Association.
Riley, meanwhile, has developed a genuine passion for horses and competition.
“My Mom got me into it, but now, I love every minute,” she said.
Riley lives in Florissant and attended Summit Elementary in Divide, but is now being homeschooled and spending as much time as she can riding her horse, Tyler. Tyler is a 27-year-old Appaloosa mare with plenty of spunk and sometimes makes Riley work hard to keep her in line.
Riley began competing with Lake George Outfitters and Gymkhana in Lead and Assist where the youngster is led through various events by an adult. The kid soon gains confidence and wants to try it on her or his own.
April Accord, board member of Lake George Outfitters and Gymkhana, said the entire board is super proud of Riley and her accomplishments.
“Riley has really come a long way. She has grit, tons of try, and self-confidence,” Accord commented.
Kim Plutt of America’s Mountain Barrel Racing explained that they have really enjoyed watching her growth in the Pee Wee division (10 and under).
Riley’s efforts have garnered many awards, including a couple of Reserve Grand Champions, three Grand Champions and the Grand High Point Champion.
Recently Riley has begun to broaden her horizons and is now learning the English discipline of riding and is learning to jump.
“I just love everything about horses and want to learn all I can,” said Riley.
Riley identified her idol as Lisa Lockhart, an American barrel racer, who, in December 2014 and 2016, won the Average at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev.
And what does Riley want to do when she grows up? She wants to be a professional horseman. Based on everything she has accomplished so far, she just might make it.