Greensburg CC lineman develops colt following on horse show circuit

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Saturday, April 9, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Born on a 98-acre horse ranch in Scottdale, Tyler Shafer grew up around colts and fillies.

The animals were always there, so he didn’t know anything different.

His family bred and raised horses, so Shafer’s interest was more passed down than discovered.

It led him down a path to acclaim doing something that blossomed into much more than a hobby.

“I have been lucky and have been very successful,” said Shafer, a senior at Greensburg Central Catholic and a lineman on the football team. “What brings me joy is showing the babies that we have bred and raised and watching them mature into aged horses.”

Shafer is a world champion on the horse show circuit. He has competed nationwide, displaying his prize-winning horses much like breeders show dogs in the hopes of impressing judges.

“He has shown different breeds to numerous championships across the United States,” said his father, Bruce Shafer. “Words can’t describe how proud my wife and I are of Tyler on the field and off. He works hard and strives for perfection. He competed against the best all around the world, and won.”

Tyler Shafer is a card-carrying member of several groups, including the American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, Appaloosa Horse Association and World Conformation Horse Association.

In addition to numerous trophies and belt buckles, he has earned more than $20,000 in futurity winnings. Futurity races usually involve horses that are 2 years old and pegged for competition at or before birth.

His horses are born and raised at Regency Horse Ranch in Scottdale, the family’s business.

“I was fortunate enough to have earned numerous championships,” Shafer said. “My top highlight is winning the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, which in the horse world is equivalent to winning the Super Bowl.”

He also won the Breeders Futurity in Mississippi, which led to him carrying a 24-inch gold horse trophy and a 4-foot replica check through an airport.

Shafer had shown 10 horses in all, with his top ones named FSR Remarkable (aka Gunner), Kiss This Ego (aka Curry), Cryptonite (aka Si) and Miss Delta.

Riding also has been a part of his experience, although he does not show in riding classes as he used to.

“The past nine years I have shown only in halter classes,” he said. “Halter is judged on the horse’s conformation and presentation against the breed standard. It’s like bodybuilding in the sense that you want fit horses with smooth muscling.”

Shafer was a three-sport athlete until he homed in on football full time. The 6-foot-2, 270-pound lineman will continue his playing career at Geneva, a Division III program in Beaver Falls.

In between horse shows, Shafer took up football in eighth grade, playing for the Westmoreland Saints.

“I always played basketball until coach Rob Dlugos came to me and said I would make a great football player,” Shafer said.

Shafer played basketball until his sophomore year and also has competed in track and field.

“Football is where his heart is at,” Bruce Shafer said. “The decision was hard, but Tyler chose Geneva to pursue engineering and his dream to play football.”

Shafer also had college interest from Albright, Allegheny and Waynesburg.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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