Meet the Member Matt Britton

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Matt Britton and his mom, Lori, learned to rope simultaneously eight years ago while vacationing in Arizona, and it proved not a pastime, but a passion for the 18 year old from Wheatland, Wyoming. Today, he’s sitting fifth in the WHSRA team roping standings with heeler Jaymis Sonesen of Douglas. “I also rope calves, but I like team roping a lot more – it comes easier,” Matt explains. He and his partner for the 2015 season, Jace Berger, qualified for the NHSFR that summer, and topping off his senior year with one more trip to the finals is high among Matt’s goals.
“I love watching those ropers on TV that can spin one in three seconds, and that’s what I strive for,” says Matt. “I want to get quicker, and I hope to rodeo for the rest of my life, so I figure I should practice hard now while I have the horses and steers to do it.” Each summer for the last eight years, Matt has spent a day working with team roping trainer Rickey Green during the roping school he puts on at the Britton’s. “Mom went to a school of his in Colorado a few years ago and really liked it, so she asked him to come put on a school here in Wheatland. I really like the way he teaches, and I also enjoy his videos.”
Matt and Lori, a heeler, often enter team roping jackpots together, while Matt practices with Jaymis twice a week during the rodeo season. He heads off a white gelding, Reno, whose previous owner, a roper from Arizona, competed on him in Reno, Nevada. Matt ropes calves on a black gelding, Jack – short for Captain Jack – dubbed such because he has just one eye. “At first, it was kind of different riding him because I’d only ridden my mom’s horse in the tie-down roping, and I was still pretty green in that event, but we get along really well. I wish we knew the story behind his one eye, but we’re guessing he was born that way,” says Matt. His dog, Sundance, also comes with him to ropings.
A senior at Wheatland High School, Matt plays basketball for the Wheatland Bulldogs, and particularly enjoys Biology II, while his mom teaches biology at Eastern Wyoming College in Douglas. He also takes welding, and is a member of the FFA Ag. Mechanics team, which held its competition in Laramie in November. “For welding class, I’ve been building a set of lamps with a foot wide frame that has three bucking horses in it,” he describes. “I’m giving them to my FFA chapter for an auction. My mom and I also bought about 600 used horseshoes that we’ve been grinding and soaking, and we use them to make wine racks.”
Matt uses any extra time to rope the dummy or go duck hunting, and especially likes making duck jerky. In the summer, he runs a hay business, splitting the hay 50/50 to cut, rake, bale, and stack it for the customer. “I take the other 50% of the hay to my barn and feed our horses off that,” he explains. “My mom usually drives the truck while I throw bales on the trailer and do the stacking. It’s a lot work, but I like it. We usually get 1,500 bales from one field, and we have six fields we do.”
Following graduation, Matt plans to college rodeo, and is currently working on rodeo scholarships. “After college, I’d like to get a job like welding or being an Ag. teacher, which would let me rodeo on weekends,” he says. “It takes a lot of money and a lot of time, but I want to save up enough to travel and compete on the pro circuit.”

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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