Jed Suhl, Meeting Facilitator, Executive Coach and Team Building & Rodeo Entertainment Producer for Suhls Rodeo has been in the rodeo business his whole life. His love and passion for rodeos was first influenced by his late father Gary Suhl.
“The reason I got into rodeo is because I was failing out of high school and dad said, ‘well you got to do something’ so like any other sport you have to keep a C average in order to participate so that’s why my dad got me into rodeo,” Jed says.
And just like that he had encouragement to keep up with his academics so that he could participate in an activity he loved. According to Jed, it was also important to his father to have a place for Jed, his sister and other kids from Osceola County to have a place to practice rodeo. So, he built a practice pen.
“People started coming and watching us and my dad said, ‘well let’s put on a show’ and so we started putting on a show in 1992 and we’ve been in the rodeo business ever since.”
Located in Kissimmee about 15-20 minutes from Disney World and 30 minutes from I-Drive, Suhls Rodeo quickly became the place to experience the fun and excitement of the western past as guests could enjoy a concession stand, a western gift shop, a saloon, line dancing and drinking.
When his father passed away in 2017, Jed made it his mission to continue the family tradition of rodeo. It was his father’s dream after all. But, due to the challenges presented by covid-19, Jed is no longer able to do the rodeo. Instead of letting that keep him down, he found new ways to keep the rodeo alive.
“I do convention rodeos where it’s more like a dinner show than a traditional rodeo show,” Jed says. “I’m no longer putting on a show and advertising to the public and seeing what happens. I’m more so in the position of you hire me and I come in and put on a hell of a show for you and your company.”
The other way Jed has been able to transform Suhls Rodeo is by offering corporate team building activities and private rodeos with the goal of delivering “safe, engaging, real cowboy life experiences that will impact people’s behaviors and thinking on life.”
He works with a small team to make it all possible. The team consists of four members: Jed, Little Deer Big Mountain, Trevor Dreher and Kip Sweeny.
Together they work to put together activities at the rodeo arena or at an alternative location if a company prefers an inside venue. Activities can include everything from line dancing to building a tepee.
Jed’s says his area of expertise is working on the team’s connection with nature in the hopes of getting them to see the world through a different lens. Once that is complete, the team is usually passed on to Little Deer Big Mountain who studies dysfunctions of a team and then helps them solve the problem.
Over the years, this has brought great joy to Jed, especially when he shares his passion with kids. He believes that if you give children a chance to experience glory then they will come to learn they can do anything they put their minds to.
“I got a young man that he’s been riding with me for about 8 months and when I met him, he had nothing to do with horses or bulls and 8 months later he’s riding horses really well and he got his bull riding equipment and he’s thinking about going and it’s been really exciting,” Jed says.
Jed’s goal in this new year is to just continue to perfect his craft and ultimately help people see the world from a different perspective. To learn more about Suhls Rodeo visit https://www.suhlsrodeo.com/