In the last installment of Cowboy Lifestyle Network‘s Women of the Western Industry series, we got to know Sammy Jo Bird, a skilled artist who participated in this year’s Art of the Cowgirl. In this installment, we will be getting to know Brandi Phillips, a very talented and popular trick rider.
Brandi, who has been a part of Art of the Cowgirl since its inception in 2019, has been involved with horses and the industry since a young age and has incredible stories, knowledge, and advice to pass down to the women who are interested in trick riding. Continue reading to learn more about this one of a kind horsewoman!
Q: Tell me more about yourself and how you got your start in the industry.
A: I started in a youth program at Riata Ranch when I was 12. I progressed and ended up having a 13-year career there until I retired from the program in 2016.
Q: What is your favorite part of trick riding?
A: I love performing. There’s just something about the energy from the crowd that is so fun when you’re running by. I also love traveling. You meet so many great people along the way and you really get to experience life to the fullest.
Q: What accomplishment are you the proudest of to date?
A: As far as performing goes, trick roping in Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration at Windsor Castle was an amazing experience. A personal accomplishment that I am the proudest of would be making my own path after leaving Riata. I never really planned on trick riding again, but after being asked a few times I decided to do it more by myself. It was really hard to find my confidence being alone, but it has really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Q: If you could only choose one quote to live by, what would it be?
A: “You earn your reputation in the arena, but you earn your respect in the barn,” said by my mentor Jennifer Nicholson, Executive Director of Riata Ranch.
Q: What advice do you have for women who are interested in trick riding?
A: To learn from someone that’s reputable. Trick riding is dangerous and there are a lot of people that may learn trick riding one time and think they are qualified to teach. Pay the money to learn from someone the right way the first time! Do your research. There are a handful of really great trick riders teaching right now. Learn from the best!
Q: What does it mean to you to be a part of an event like Art of the Cowgirl?
A: Art of The Cowgirl is such a special event. The idea behind it and the intention is so cool. For me, I love being able to break down trick riding and show people how we do what we do in a demo style environment. There is a horsemanship side that nobody gets to see. I love the opportunity to share that. The fact they believed in me enough to have had me back for the second year was a real honor.
Keep up with Brandi by following her on Instagram at @brandiphillips13.
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