Long-time Cloverdale resident and rodeo volunteer Jacquelyn Schulz passed away on March 6, after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer.
She was 46 years old.
For those who knew her as a friend, sister or daughter, it will be her smile and her laugh that’s missed most dearly.
If you don’t know her name, you might know her face or her voice. Everyone who’s been to the Cloverdale Rodeo in the last 22 years has seen Jacquie at one time or another.
You may have heard her voice calling out, selling 50/50 tickets. You may have seen her ride in the Grand Entry, which she did for 14 years, from 1995 until 2009.
For Jacquie, the rodeo was a family affair.
Born in Burnaby, B.C., Jacquie was raised on her family’s farm in Langley, graduating from Brookswood Secondary in 1989. She grew up in a family that dedicated itself to horses and the rodeo.
Her father, Frank, was a team roper who competed locally for decades. Her mother, Pat, judged the queen competitions at the Cloverdale Rodeo. Her sister competed in high school rodeo.
Jacquie, a natural talent, showed quarter horses and competed in trail in her youth.
Marnie Gigliotti, who met Jacquie when she was 15 years old and knew her for the rest of her life, remembers Jacquie’s first competition.
“It’s one of the funniest stories I can remember,” she said. “When she got a horse for her [sixteenth] birthday, she knew nothing about showing, so she asked one of our trainers what to do. Then she went in the class and beat him.”
Gigliotti laughs. “He was kind of choked about that. He still laughs about it.”
Jacquie went on to become very involved with the Langley Riders Society and later, the Cloverdale Rodeo. Over the years she timed team roping in amateur competitions, coordinated queen competitions and acted as ring steward for quarter horse shows in the Lower Mainland.
Some of her most memorable moments came from her 14 years as a rider in the Cloverdale Rodeo’s Grand Entry.
Sandra Henderson Frank grew up with Jacquie - their parents had gone to school together and attended each other’s weddings.
“I don’t remember a time when we weren’t together,” said Frank, who remembers Jacquie’s Grand Entries with warm humour.
“My dad, Mick Henderson, was the gate guy for the Cloverdale Rodeo,” said Frank. “He never forgets Jake’s Grand Entry. He remembers being on the gate, having it open and looking out to see Jake on the big horse. His name was Short, and he was huge.”
“She’d go around the corner getting ready to come out and would get a big huge grin on her face, looking right at my dad,” said Frank. “And she’d just come steaming at him. Just when she’d get to him her face would always go, ‘oh god, how am I going to stop him before the other horses.’”
Frank laughed. “Every time, it was the same way.”
Although they have many stories, the memories that Frank and Gigliotti share a common thread: Jacquie’s love for her family and friends, and her wholehearted dedication to them.
“She was proud of her family, her dad, her mom, her sister,” said Frank.
In a dedication posted to Schulz’s Facebook wall, Sandra wrote, “[Jacquie] loved her family. As you know, when Jake chose you, that was it, you were blessed with a friend that stuck to your side. It did not matter what you needed to do, if you called her she would be right there.”
Jacquie will be remembered for many things: for being a woman in red (red lipstick, red leather jackets, red purses and yes, a red car), for being unapologetically herself, for laughing loud and smiling wide.
She’ll be remembered for both the Grand Entries performed in front of a roaring crowd and the smaller moments that she lived out every day surrounded with her family and the friends she made family.
A memorial service for Jacquie will be held on Saturday, March 18 at 2 p.m. at the Langley Seniors Recreation and Resource Center, 20605 51B Avenue, Langley, and anyone that would like to speak is welcome to do so.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to the B.C. Cancer Foundation.