Buhrmester and Rich have been competing in rodeo since they were in grade school. Both competed in the Illinois Junior Rodeo Finals. Buhrmester and Rich each had three championships in the State Junior Rodeo, 2nd through 5th grade.
Rich has been roping since he was five years old. Buhrmester admitted she was a late bloomer.
“I didn’t do barrels and poles until I was seven,” Buhrmester said.
Buhrmester and Rich have accumulated a mint of hardware and have plenty of leather to slap.
Buhrmester estimates she has won about 80 buckles in her rodeo career and nine saddles. Rich estimates that he has stockpiled about 120 belt buckles and 13 saddles.
Its been quite a ride for the Shelby duo over the last 10 years. But they’ve heard those words from Horace Greeley. “Go West!”
Buhrmester is headed to Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. She is going to work on a cutting ranch while she attends school, pursues a degree in Business Management, and competes in areas rodeos and barrels competitions.
Rich is headed to Western Oklahoma State College, in Altus, Olahoma, just north of Wichita Falls, Texas. Rich was recruited and accepted a scholarship to compete for the school on the rodeo team, as a team roping heeler.
He already knows his future team roping partner at West Okie State from previous competitions, Dylan Gordon from Comanche, Oklahoma. After a 2-year degree in Ag Business, Rich also hopes to transfer to Tarleton State University.
Prior to reporting to their respective school in August, both Buhrmester and Rich will be headed out to the 65th annual National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming, July 14-20 to compete in their respective events.
Featuring more than 1500 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian Provinces, and Australia the National High School Finals Rodeo is the world’s largest rodeo. In addition to competing for $200,000 in prizes, they will be competing for $350,000 in college scholarships and a chance to be named an NHSFR National Champion.
Keeley Buhrmester is the daughter of Chuck and Vickie Buhrmester of Shelbyville. Douglas Rich is the son of Lonnie and Cindy Rich of Herrick