story by Lindsay Humphrey Last summer, Emily changed her last name from Vinton to Finney when she married Doug. It was a match made at […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Brittni McCully
story by Lindsay King
Only one week of practice was enough for seasoned breakaway roper Brittni McCully, 19, to walk away from last year’s Future Stars Calf Roping with the championship saddle. “It was pretty special for me, it was the first saddle I had ever won. I had surgery in March so I was out for a while and it was a last-minute decision to even enter,” said the Mullen, Nebraska, breakaway roper and header in the MSRA. Betty Karen Pearman is to blame for the life-long love for rodeo Brittni has developed. “BK took my sisters (Brooke, 16, and Brynne, 9) and I under her wing and got us started in rodeo. She provided horses for us when we were younger.” Brittni’s dad Brad was a saddlebronc rider back in the day. “My dad worked for everything he had, he did not get into rodeo in high school. He had to work hard to get where he did when he was older.”
The breakaway roper by nature, puts her skills with a rope to good use in the team roping for the all-around points. “I put the most work into breakaway roping and have had the most success in it throughout the years.” A three-year veteran of the NHSFR, Brittni placed in the top 20 on her second trip in the breakaway. However, she gets pretty nervous before a run. “I am a bit superstitious so I have a routine before I go rope. I get on weird kicks with it too. In high school I thought I needed a Dr. Pepper before every run because it was ‘good luck.’” At the end of the day, it comes down the simple act of tacking up. This is when Brittni gets in the zone, and that’s why she likes to do it by herself.
When it came time to choose a college two years ago, Brittni had scholarships for both rodeo and basketball at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. “I chose to play basketball in college because I can rodeo for the rest of my life, but I can only play basketball for another four years.” Her current jersey number, 13, is a family tradition. It was Brittni’s number in high school because her mom Tracie played volleyball with it and her dad played football with 13 on his back. “My ultimate goal is to do equine therapy, to help kids with horses. I am getting my degree in special education K-12.” It was her involvement with the Partner Up Rodeo that originally sparked this career path for Brittni. “I helped with that rodeo every year in North Platte in high school. It was fun to teach the kids about the western way of life and rodeo. Seeing them light up when they got to see a horse or swing a rope for the first time was pretty fun.”
As soon as basketball ends in March, Brittni gears up for the summer rodeo run in both the NSRA and MSRA. “The MSRA is not much different from the Nebraska association except that there are probably more people in it from other states. And I get to rodeo in more states with it.” Her goal this year is to make both finals in the breakaway roping. Luckily, Brittni’s college basketball coach lets her out of some of the pre-season workouts so she can finish her rodeo season each fall. Rodeo combines all of Brittni’s favorite things: ranching, rodeo and family. It’s the family she developed through high school that keeps her coming back as an amateur. Though she is out of the youth division, she is headed back to Guthrie for another shot at a Future Stars championship saddle this May.