It would be understandable for a couple of brothers, busy starting families and running the companies they founded, to let their team-roping hobby slide. After all, who has time while scouting projects, managing businesses, and building custom homes to work the arena, saddle the horses and find chute help? Alex and Philip Schuman make time.
“It’s just been part of our life for so long, it’s our passion,” said Alex. “We enjoy team roping. I guess it’s what we love to do.”
Integrative real estate
Like their old roping buddy Riley Pedro, both Schuman brothers grew up in Hawaii but attended college on the mainland, at Colorado State University. Alex was still enrolled, in fact, when he bought his first property. Together, he and Philip founded Schuman Companies Inc. (schumanco.com) which today creates vehicles for real estate investment, development, management and brokerage.
“It’s an integrated company, and we focus on developing projects in Colorado’s Front Range,” said Alex. “Everything from multi-family to industrial and warehouse projects.”
In 2015, they also partnered with an existing home-builder to create PJL Schuman Custom Homes (pjlschuman.com), a firm that creates luxury custom homes across northern Colorado. The business was founded by Paul and Patti Ludwick, whose daughter, Alison, is married to Alex Schuman. The pair have a 5-year-daughter, Bailey, who is already competing at junior rodeos.
Meanwhile Philip, who has a master’s degree in risk management and is a licensed broker, also oversees the accounting for the businesses. He and his wife, Valerie, live not far from Alex and Alison. In addition to a local horse-boarding facility, the brothers also operate SC Rentals (screntals.com), a northern Colorado property management firm based in Windsor.
When the two brothers saddle up for an evening to go rope at their ranch outside Fort Collins, Colo., they usually can be talked into heeling for each other. But they’re primarily headers, and have been since they grew up on Oahu. Both sets of their grandparents had cattle ranches on Hawaii. So, every other weekend, the boys would catch a plane and head to the Big Island to get horseback.
Their father, Michael “Skip” Schuman, had played polo and team roped, so the boys were roping by the time they were in seventh grade. They were soon honing their skills at keiki competitions and entering every event at high school rodeos. Alex won Rookie of the Year as a freshman in Hawaii high school rodeo when he won the cutting and tie-down roping and placed third in team roping and bull riding.
“As soon as school was out and our state finals in Hawaii were over, we’d spend all our summers here on the mainland,” said Alex. “We’d get ready every year for the NHSFR in Texas or Oklahoma.”
Both continued competing in all events, but “team roping stuck with us a little more than the other events,” said Alex.
Fast-forward more than a decade, and team roping is still a priority for the Schumans despite the time demands of the companies they own and operate.
“I just competed last weekend at Rappel’s [Arena],” said Alex, who figures he and Philip own five head horses between them.
The brothers are each 6 Elite headers and typically enter #12, #13 and #15 ropings. Philip placed that particular day, Aug. 5, in one of the World Series Qualifier ropings at the arena in tiny Gill, Colo.
Alex figures his biggest win to date in team roping might have been back when he and Pedro won the High Plains Regional USTRC Finals in Cheyenne, Wyo. This year, he’s planning to go to Las Vegas for the WSTR Finale in December.
Running three busy companies in one of the fastest-growing parts of the country won’t change one thing–neither Schuman brother has any intention of letting himself get rusty at roping steers. In fact, they get as fired up about a new development project, property to manage, or newly constructed luxury home as they do about catching four at the WSTR Finale XII in Sin City.
“To be able to compete for that sum of money is quite outstanding,” said Alex.