Schmidt’s season halted by surgery after bronc riding accident
Chuck Schmidt, one of the top young saddle bronc riders in ProRodeo, underwent surgery in a Calgary, Alberta, hospital on Sept. 1 to repair unilateral facet fracture-dislocations of the C6 and C7 vertebrae.
Schmidt, 25, sustained the injuries when he was bucked off his horse and landed on his neck at the Okotoks (Alberta) ProRodeo on Aug. 30.
It is estimated that Schmidt will be sidelined for at least three months, but may be able to return to his Keldron, S.D., home within a week.
A Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier in 2011, Schmidt had entered the week in 16th place in the world standings, just $368 out of 15th place – and the berth in the WNFR that goes with it. Ironically, with the checks he earned this past week in Pueblo, Colo., and Filer, Idaho, Schmidt moved to 15th in the standings released today.
During his five-year career, Schmidt has claimed major titles in Dodge City, Kan.; Sheridan, Wyo.; Odessa, Texas; Atlantic City, N.J., and Billings, Mont. He was 12th in the world in 2011 and 22nd a year ago.
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Jill Rigler is not your average 17 year old.