ARCADIA — David Schildt is a champion bullrider, but on April 5 he will join the pack of people, tie up his shoes, and run in the Santa Anita Derby Day 5K.
“I’m a natural athlete and I love running,” said the 61-year-old Schildt. “Bull riding is something I’ve always loved, but I’m a runner too.”
Schildt, who estimates he has won more than 25 bull riding events, will be coming all the way from South Dakota to run in the Santa Anita Derby Day 5K.
He wrote a book about his adventures that may one day make it to the big screen, called “Redboy, the Indian Bull Rider.”
“You don’t know you’re going to be good at at something like bull riding until you try it,” Schildt said. “You just know you want to compete.”
While Schildt has won more than 20 belt buckle trophies, he has few in his possession.
“I lost the first big trophy buckle I won when I was young,” he said. “But I had brought it in to be engraved right after I won it. I lost it back in 1972. Well a few years ago, a fellow came up to me and said, ‘Did you lose a belt buckle?’ He described it. Then he brought it to me and said he had found it about 20 years ago. You could barely see my name on it so somebody was wearing it.”
“I gave so many away over the years,” he said. “When you’re young you think you’ll be doing what you love forever and that you’ll win all the time. But especially in what I do, the only guarantee in bull riding is that you’re going to get hurt.”
Schildt tries to train and run every day as best as he can.
“It’s a challenge to train in South Dakota sometimes, because it can be cold,” he said. “But if you love what you do, you will always find a way to do it.”