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PICAYUNE PEOPLE: Robin Kaspar’s resume includes stint as Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, pageant contestant, rodeo clown

Robin Kaspar

Robin Kaspar is the children’s ministry coordinator at Packsaddle Fellowship in Kingsland. Her previous careers include beauty pageant queen, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, and professional rodeo clown. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The path that Robin Sindorf Kaspar took to her current job as the children’s ministry coordinator for Packsaddle Fellowship in her hometown of Kingsland twists through stints in showbiz, sorrow, and salvation. In her time, Kaspar has cheered for both the Llano High School Yellow Jackets and the Dallas Cowboys. She won statewide beauty pageants and clowned for the biggest rodeo in the West. 

Ultimately, Kaspar returned home and found her calling in the church, but the journey she took led far from the shores of Lake LBJ. Wild accolades, world travel, love, loss, and reflection have all contributed brushstrokes to Kaspar’s life portrait. 

“I was always fearless and not afraid to try new things,” Kaspar told The Picayune Magazine.

Growing up in Kingsland, Kaspar’s father, Gene Sindorf, was the president of the Llano Independent School District Board of Trustees. They lived at the River Oaks Fishing Lodge, which was representative of 1960s Kingsland — a quiet little fishing community. 

Growing up, Kaspar crossed a small pasture and climbed over a barbed-wire fence to reach the community church, where she attended youth group and Sunday school. The church was present throughout her childhood, but after she left home, life seemed to accelerate and she strayed from the dedication of her youth. While in high school, her parents divorced, which shook her world and led to a mission of living life on her own terms. 

Kaspar was a varsity cheerleader at Llano High School and grew up in a family of football fanatics. Her maternal grandmother would throw something at your head if you crossed in front of the TV while the Texas Longhorns were playing.

After a squabble with the other cheerleaders, she was kicked off the squad during her junior year because of weight gain, she said.

In an act of defiance, she became the pep squad president and organized the largest pep events in southwest Texas at the time. After her major success at one of her first real undertakings, she realized that just about anything was possible if she put her mind to it. 

During her senior year, Kaspar won a statewide beauty pageant, Miss United Teenager, and was the National Miss United Teenager runner-up. The young woman who won the national title was a Denver Broncos cheerleader, which inspired Kaspar to attempt an even bigger challenge.

Kaspar left Kingsland and attended Bauder Fashion College in Arlington on a scholarship she received from her beauty pageant win. She and a friend decided to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. 

At 18 years old, Kaspar won a spot on the 36-member squad cheering on “America’s Team.” She was chosen from among 4,000 hopefuls.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Robin Kaspar
Robin Kaspar cheers for the Dallas Cowboys. Kaspar was chosen to represent America’s team out of 4,000 girls who tried out for the squad in 1978. Courtesy photo

“I was so young, and I was from Kingsland!” she said. “Getting on a plane and going to South Carolina to sign autographs and sitting next to the Dallas Cowboys.”

Her time with the Dallas Cowboys was during the team’s golden era with Coach Tom Landry, who led it through 20 consecutive winning seasons, and quarterback Roger Staubach, an American sports icon. When Kaspar cheered for the Cowboys, they were coming off of a Super Bowl XII win in 1977, a glorious year to cheer.

After the Cowboys, Kaspar worked with a beauty pageant coordinator in Reno, Nevada. Her boyfriend at the time followed her west and took a job as a rodeo clown in the Flying U Rodeo Company. After a scheduling mixup, her boyfriend was left without a partner one night, so Kaspar stepped in. This was the first time she performed as a rodeo clown, but it wouldn’t be the last.

The Flying U Rodeo Company was and still is a major rodeo company in the far west. The rodeo’s organizer saw a huge opportunity with Kaspar: a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader as the “barrel clown” for his rodeo. She killed it. 

For the next 2½ years, Kaspar toured with the Flying U Rodeo Company, becoming a cardholding member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and performing in the largest rodeo venues on the West Coast. She hopped in barrels in front of massive audiences at The Forum in Los Angeles, the Cow Palace in San Francisco, the Long Beach Indoor Arena, and the San Diego Sports Arena. She likened barrel work to being in a nightly car crash.

Kaspar made numerous public TV appearances alongside other rodeo stars on “The Today Show” and “Real People” and was interviewed for People Magazine and dozens of regional newspapers. 

After her clowning stint, she settled awhile in Northern California, working in radio and as a personal trainer in health clubs. She eventually returned to the Highland Lakes, where she took a job at a Marble Falls radio station. 

Back home, she married and had her daughter, Charlie. Her first marriage ended, but that end was the beginning of her career in the church. While Kaspar’s life had been filled with adventure, intrigue, and accomplishments, a pool of dark moments and mistakes accumulated as well. 

“I felt like my life had become a spiritual train wreck,” Kaspar said. 

She began volunteering at First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls and, through working with children and adult ministries, reflected on her life and the mistakes she had made. Eventually, she was hired as a full-time employee at the church. Kaspar said this was when she was able to grow and move on.

“Raise up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will return,” said Kaspar, loosely reciting Proverbs 22:6 from the Bible. 

Kaspar first met husband Gerald Kaspar when they were kids and both attended the same community church in Kingsland. As an elder at Packsaddle Fellowship, Gerald urged her to consider taking a position there.

“It’s not a coincidence,” Robin Kaspar said. “We think it was divine.”

Once daughter Charlie graduated from Marble Falls High School and went off to college, Kaspar made the move to Kingsland, where she took a full-time position as the children’s ministry coordinator at Packsaddle Fellowship.

“I don’t think anybody in their right mind goes into children’s ministry,” she said with a laugh. “That was the last thing on my mind, and yet the Lord just kept leading me and kept telling me that, ‘If you will just do it and be faithful, I will equip you.’”

Packsaddle Fellowship’s children’s ministry serves the kids in the community who are most in need. For Kaspar, it is about creating a healthy environment. Love, encouragement, goodies, games, and the Gospel are all integral to the experience she provides for the ministry.

Kaspar’s tumultuous past has made her uniquely qualified for ministering to those who are struggling. She also helped create Open Door Recovery House in Marble Falls, an organization dedicated to helping women who are in addiction recovery. She continues to hold voluntary Bible study for the organization. 

Kaspar’s journey has given her the tools necessary to understand the good times and the hard times that are inevitable on everyone’s path. 

“The Lord knows what he is doing and he uses all kinds of people,” she said. “If you ever think you’re not usable or worthy, you’re wrong.”

dakota@thepicayune.com

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