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Interview by Kirstie Marie Jones
Photographed exclusively for COWGIRL Magazine by Kirstie Marie Photography
Erin Bradshaw Weiss wears a lot of hats. Some Cowgirl, some reality TV star, and most recently the crown of a mom-to-be. The 32-year-old horsewoman, television performer, and family gal leads a busy life with a resounding focus on her first love…horses. Erin is the celebrity daughter of football great Terry Bradshaw, who not only shares his love for the equine world with his youngest, but is also a partner in her family’s breeding, training, and competition efforts centered around their ranches in northern Texas and a flashy paint called John Simon. Erin’s husband Scott is also a prominent horse trainer in the Pleasure Horse world and Erin’s beloved John Simon is the family’s crown jewel.
Kirstie Marie Jones: When were you first introduced to horses?
Erin Bradshaw Weiss: As a little girl. I was born and raised on a ranch in Westlake, Texas, and I when I was about 5 years old, began discovering my love for horses and started wanting a horse of my own. I’ve loved horses my whole life.
KMJ: Most of your riding career’s been in the pleasure-horse industry. What about Western pleasure competitions attracts you the most?
EBW: Dad always did the halter horses, and I did that a little bit when I was younger, but I just wasn’t as satisfied not being on the horse actually riding. At the time, our ranch manager’s wife came from the show-horse circuit and that was just where I started. I just fell in love with it. I’ve always loved their smooth movement and that was the first thing I got introduced to, it just stuck with me.
KMJ: You’re an extremely accomplished equestrian. Is there a certain win and/or moment that really stands out as a meaningful one in your riding career?
Erin Bradshaw Weiss competes on her Paint, John Simon. Photo courtesy of APHA/Paint Horse Journal.
EBW: I would probably say my first and last win on my stud John Simon. He’s been the foundation of our business and my career in Western pleasure horses. I won my first world title on him in 2010, and then I won my last amateur pleasure title on him in 2019. I still show him some in that, but I now have a baby of his that I show more. So, the first and the last wins on him are probably the most special.
KMJ: How much of an influence has your dad had on your passion for horses?
EBW: He’s had a huge influence on it. He’s the reason we even did horses. He put me on a horse when I was 5, and really let me start living that dream. So, without him, I don’t really think I would have even started riding.
KMJ: Paint for us the picture, the overall structure of your family within the horse industry.
EBW: I’m married to a horse trainer (Scott Weiss). Scott has worked with horses since he was young as well. My mom and my sister showed some when we were all younger, but since my mom’s a really accomplished family law attorney, she just didn’t quite have the time for it, nor did my sister, who was launching her country music career. My dad has always bred and raised halter-class Quarter Horses, and I always had Paints on the side, as I just got into the Paints when I was little. Yeah, we’ve done it all the way around.
KMJ: Tell us more about Scott’s and your professional involvement in the equine industry.
EBW: Scott trains Western pleasure horses. Previously, he had worked for Rusty Green and Jay Starnes. Scott came from Quarter horses, and when he met me, crossed over into Paints. He’s got a whole list of accomplishments.
Erin and her dog, Chuck.
KMJ: And you and Scott also breed. I’m a huge fangirl of your Paint stallion, John Simon, who I believe you also stand to the public.
EBW: Yes, we stand him with Humphrey Quarter horses in Whitesboro. They primarily do reining. In addition, Scott and I, along with my dad, own about 25 broodmares. We do all of the breeding out of Dad’s ranch in Thackerville, then my husband starts the foals and we bring them down here when they’re weaned. We’ll evaluate them and sell some, selecting some to show ourselves. It’s become a family business.
KMJ: What were your thoughts about doing a reality TV series with your family?
Erin and husband Scott Weiss at home in Texas.
EBW: I was a little hesitant at first. I’m not really one that likes to be in the spotlight, shockingly. I’m a very quiet, private person, so I was a little overtaken, just because when you hear “reality TV,” you automatically think of “The Housewives”-style drama, and stuff like that. I was a little hesitant to put my life out there, but having the support of my husband and having my dad alongside us, and with the way E Network structured the show, it’s been super fun to share our family, our dynamic, our lives, and what we all do together.
KMJ: Okay, shifting gears. How would you describe your sense of fashion?
EBW: I wear a lot of denim. I like a lot of ripped-up denim. My favorite shoe brand—Freebird by Steven out of Nashville—has actually worked alongside me since the show aired—sending me shoes since I was always a frequent buyer. I wear a lot of denim and Freebirds.
Erin’s family and the cast of The Bradshaw Bunch: Tammy and Terry Bradshaw, flanked by daughters (L to R), Rachel, Lacey Luttrull, and Erin. Photo courtesy of E.
KMJ: Since you were born and raised in Texas, what’s your favorite place to visit in the Lone Star State?
EBW: My favorite place to visit is Austin and the Hill Country.
KMJ: When you’re away from business, what do you and Scott like to do?
EBW: We have a boat and like to go out on the lake. We like going to the beach, too. In winter, we go skiing. But when we’re not doing horses, we’re usually either on our boat or hanging out by our pool with our friends. We’re very outdoorsy.
KMJ: Tell us a favorite horseback memory of yours.
EBW: I would say winning the trail on John, just because that class is so demanding. We’ve won that in three years; once, two years in a row. Trail requires so much work on the rider’s end as well, rather than just riding him on the rail; you can’t even hit a pole. And he’s given me three nearly flawless goes in that class, so I would say those are probably my most memorable, just because it is a tough class.
You always feel super-accomplished when you get through it, not only to have not hit something, but do well.
KMJ: Erin, thanks for sharing a bit of your story with COWGIRL and our community.