By Michele Harn and Jeanna Schaffhauser. She was born into it. Her father (Sam Schauffauser) and grandfather (Randy Schaffauser) are professional Reining horse trainers with a barn full of champion horses. Her mom, Jeanna, is a non-pro competitor. But having it all on the proverbial silver spoon doesn’t guarantee success in the show arena.
No, that takes endless hours in the practice pen, hours researching therapies for her equine athletes, and a dedication seldom seen. Fourteen-year-old Becca Schaffauser of Eads, Tenn. has made the very most of the opportunity she was born into.
Becca is a competitive, focused young lady. Becca’s mother, Jeanna Schaffhauser, tells of Becca “riding unassisted when she was 2 years old on Hunter ponies and competing in Reining when she was 7 years old.” She also danced competitively for 8 years before deciding to focus solely on the horses. Part of that focus includes researching therapies to keep her competition horses in top condition and preventative medicine for all the horses in the barn. Becca enjoys learning more about veterinary medicine as an additional way to provide the very best for her equine partners. Her parents are proud of the role she plays in managing the horses.
We asked Becca’s mom to tell us about challenges she has faced.
“In order to accomplish her NRHA World Championship (which is a cumulative high point award for the year in NRHA), Becca had to get creative to help her horse, Cruz, avoid burn out. With the help of family friend and Ranch Riding guru, Matt Lantz, of Michigan, Becca taught Cruz Ranch Riding, and she credits adding Ranch Riding at shows for their Reining world title win. ‘It gave Cruz something different to think about. Reining can be terribly predictable for the horses, and Cruz learned to relax and really listen to me when we started showing Ranch Riding.’ Maintaining her horse’s soundness and mental state plus overcoming her own self-doubt while showing so frequently and needing to always be at the top of her game was a tall order for a then 12 year-old. She studied therapy and preventive medicine for her horse and worked on maintaining her own competitive mindset constantly.”
Becca competes at NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) and AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) events including the NRHA Futurity and Derby, National Reining Breeders Classic, Quarter Horse Congress, AQHA Youth World Show, and many other smaller events in TN, FL, GA, KY, IN, OK, and TX. Besides Reining she also competes in Ranch Riding, Ranch Trail, and Ranch Rail to keep her horses in top physical and mental condition. Her equine partners are Dun Got My Rest (Cruz), Buttons On my GT (Buttons), and Tinsel At The Ryman (Harold) who was recently sold.
It’s a Family Affaire
Becca’s father, Sam Schaffhauser, a NRHA Professional and Judge, ranks in the top 75 all-time NRHA riders with earnings over $600,000 and top placings in every major NRHA event. Sam is also passionate about developing young horses and coaching riders to the top of their games.
Becca’s grandfather, Randy Schaffhauser, a NRHA Professional and multiple IBHA (International Buckskin Horse Association) Reining World Champion, has been training horses for over 50 years. Randy enjoys both showing and coaching Non-Pro and Youth Riders in both Reining and Ranch Riding.
Becca’s mother, Jeanna Schaffhauser, grew up showing AQHA All-Around and shifted her focus to reining over 20 years ago after meeting Sam. She serves as manager of Sam Schaffhauser Performance Horses and shows Reining Futurity and Derby horses in the Non-Professional division.
Becca certainly has a bright future as a third generation equestrian. Though the family will be moving their business to the Darling 888 Ranch in Princeton, KY in March 2023. Becca will continue sliding and spinning her way to the top of the Reining world.
NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Youth 13 & Under World Champion
NRHA Youth 10 & Under Short Stirrup World Champion
Three time Quarter Horse Congress Reserve Champion
NRHA Derby 13 & Under and Short Stirrup Champion
TNRHA (Tennessee Reining Horse Association) High Point Rookie
TNRHA High Point Youth 13 & Under.