JD Schulze

by Siri Stevens

JD (James Daniel) Schulze calls Brighton, Colo., home, but he is most at home in the arena. The rodeo clown spends the summer working rodeos in Colorado and surrounding states. “From June until the end of September I will have worked 63 performances,” said the 39-year-old single dad. “I’ve been home a couple days all summer.” His ten-year-old son, Landon James, travels with him on the weekends JD has him. “This year he’s really taken a part in wanting to help out with the acts.” One of JD’s acts, the Shrinking Machine, features Landon as the small version of JD. Landon plays baseball too, a sport that JD helps by being one of the coaches.
“When it comes to coaching, I really try to make it fun and have fun with the kids so they learn to love the game – and have fun – which in turn hopefully carries over to everyday life in all they do. In the rodeo arena, I’m there to be a goofball and be part of the bull fighting trio – the island of safety – that’s where the barrel man comes in.”
JD grew up on the Eastern side of Aurora, Colo., and the middle of Denver. His parents were divorced and he and his three older brothers split their time between the two houses. He also has three younger sisters. “It was my norm,” he said of having two homes. Growing up in the city, JD got his break into rodeo through friends who were bull riders. “I always loved the Western lifestyle and hanging out with friends that rode bulls got me started riding.” JD rode bulls until injuries took him out.
Full story is available in the September 15, 2014 issue.

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