Despite his accolades on and off the football field, it’s Terry Bradshaw’s love for good horses—a passion shared with his daughter, Erin—that keeps the hall of famer dreaming bigger.
By Abigail Boatwright
Walking through a green pasture, Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw beams with delight at his herd of horses quietly grazing on the lush grass. Always a busy guy, the NFL legend has a packed schedule of TV appearances, sports gigs and musical pursuits. But time slows when he’s at home on his ranch, where he can reach out and pet a horse’s nose or scratch beneath a foal’s brushy mane; this is where he’s happiest. Terry shares this love for horses with his daughter, Erin Bradshaw Weiss, and despite their individually busy lives, they easily connect through their passion for Paints.
The Blonde Bomber
Arguably, Terry was one of the greatest football players of all time. Nicknamed “The Blonde Bomber,” Terry was a tenacious quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, leading the team to four Super Bowl titles. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989. Since retiring from the game, Terry has enjoyed a vivacious second career as a television sports analyst and on-air personality for 25 years.
As a youngster growing up outside Shreveport, Louisiana, Terry was introduced to horses by his uncles Reggie and Bobby Gay.
Although he’s ridden for years and dabbled in roping, for the last 25 years, Terry has mainly raised and shown halter Quarter Horses, including multiple world champions. Erin, though, preferred with the chrome flash of Paint Horses over her father’s solid-colored horses, and when she acquired a breeding stallion, Terry, too, added some chrome to his pastures.
Amid his many career responsibilities, Terry’s love for horses never waivered. They’re his vice of choice, he jokes.
“When I’m in their presence, I just respect them,” Terry said. “I absolutely love them. I love to look in their eyes. I like the way they smell. I like the way they breathe through their nostrils. Everything about a horse just fascinates me. It’s a love I just can’t explain; It’s innate—it’s in my DNA.”
All About Paints
Starting with Breyer model horses, Erin was always a horse lover, and that love was fostered growing up on a ranch with her family in Westlake, Texas.
“She was on a horse all her life, from the minute she could crawl; she loved them,” Terry said proudly.
Erin and her sister, Rachel, began riding lessons with Brooke Wing, the wife of Terry’s barn manager Chad, and since Brooke had Paints at her farm, that’s what Erin rode. Rachel soon shifted her focus to music, but Erin was all-in on horses.
“Paints have been like a family for me,” Erin said. “They have been the foundation of my horse career. I’m super passionate about the Paints, I love their color and how each of them is unique in their own way.”
Starting with a colorful mare named “Skipper,” and then a gelding named Unbiased Opinion, Erin began competing in lead line and walk-trot events. She then moved up to a horse named Social Elegance, better known as “Joker,” who’s now happily retired at age 30 on her farm in Aubrey, Texas. She completed her Youth show career and entered the Amateur world aboard Maximum Zippo; unfortunately, “Max” had a rare spinal column injury that ultimately required euthanasia. Erin was devastated.
This is an excerpt from the fall 2020 issue of Chrome—get Chrome magazine by becoming an APHA member at apha.com/join.