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Meet the Member Brittany Lansford
story by Lily Weinacht
Brittany Lansford of Wilsonville, Ala., grew up riding horses and supporting her dad while he team roped and rodeoed, and by middle school, she realized the rodeo lifestyle was for her as well. “My dad shoes horses, and one of his customer’s kids junior rodeoed,” says Brittany. “Dad thought it would be good for me to start. He taught me to rope, and I fell in love with it! I competed in all of the high school events, but when I started breakaway roping, it was love at first sight.”
She joined the SPRA, introduced to the association by family friend Phillip Kelce. Brittany entered both the SPRA and high school rodeos, but had to take a three month hiatus after tearing her ACL in half her senior year. “It was the first round of state finals and I was goat tying, and I stepped off and heard a loud pop,” Brittany recalls. “I finished out the finals and was able to wear a brace for Nationals. I’d qualified in team roping and breakaway, but I just did the breakaway. I finished tenth in the nation and then had surgery the next day.”
Though she was given six months to a year before she could ride again, Brittany was back in the saddle within three months and extensive physical therapy. After that, she decided to focus solely on her breakaway roping, and currently holds cards with the SPRA, IPRA, and Lone Star rodeos.
Brittany names both her dad, Michael Lansford, and friend Phillip Kelce as her role models. “Dad got me started, and Phillip taught me breakaway. When my dad can’t go to rodeos, I haul with Phillip, and when I back into the box, either my dad or Phillip is always there. They are both huge influences on my rodeo career,” Brittany explains. “Rodeo is my stress reliever, and no matter what goes on during the week, I can look forward to packing up for the weekend. It’s bonding time for me and my dad. He shares the love of it with me, and it makes me feel proud to make my dad proud.”
She and her dad make their home near Wilsonville, along with several horses and two dogs, including Brittany’s Boxer, Rocky. She backs into the box on her 13-year-old gelding, Rudy, an all-around horse that carried her through high school rodeo. “He is a firecracker, and he’s the horse everybody knows because of his attitude,” she describes. “You never know what he’ll do, but between the box and the end of the run, he’s the best horse I’ve ever sat on. He’s been a blessing to me, and at the end of the day, I’d pick him over any horse.”
Brittany practices at least three days a week, but she’s made it a goal to ride Rudy every day this summer and rope the sled or live calves three times a week.
This summer, Brittany graduates with her associates degree from Central Alabama Community College. She plans to take as many more classes as possible there before transferring to a university to finish her bachelors and doctorate in chiropractic medicine.
In between semesters, she plans to rodeo and spend time hunting or fishing with her dad and boyfriend. She’s qualified several times for the SPRA finals, and she’s aiming for another qualification this year. “My goal is to be more consistent and mentally confident in myself,” she says. “My long term goal every year is to win the SPRA, and I’ve come very close. I’d like to come in first and be able to accept the SPRA breakaway saddle.”