story by Julie Carter Hailing from the Steer Wrestling capitol of the Navajo Nation, Crownpoint, NM, the 17-year-old Tsosie twins, Tyra and Tydon, have made […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Siera Bradford-Green
story by Lindsay King
A helicopter touched down in the center of a roping pen near Quemado, New Mexico, on Sept. 19, 2019. It’s passenger? 18-year-old Siera Bradford-Green. The roper was awake and alert, but she was strapped to a stretcher and flown to a hospital in Albuquerque. “I don’t remember what happened, but my family said I was uncinching my horse in the box when something spooked him,” said the high school senior. A swift kick to the thigh sent Siera flying backward where she hit her head on the piping. The perky teenager talks about the accident like a distant memory even though she’s still dealing the repercussions.
“I had a traumatic brain injury that included a skull fracture, brain bleed and two concussions. I was only in the hospital for 24 hours, but we stayed with my grandparents in Albuquerque for ten days just to make sure nothing changed before I went home.” It wasn’t until late October when Siera could get back on a horse again. Fear never even crossed her mind when it came time to ride again. “It wasn’t my horses’ fault. It was just a freak thing; every horse can get spooked at any time.” Siera and this gelding have been through a lot together in their short 9 years as a pair. “He’s always been high strung, but he’s come a long way. The first time I rode him he jumped because my rope fell off my saddle. He started bucking and I was actually staying on.” Once Siera jumped off she was laughing about the incident.
This is just one of many instances when Siera’s good nature wins out in a tough situation. She’s still dealing with headaches and sporadic memory loss, but Siera takes it all in stride. “Sometimes I have really bad days, but I feel so much better than I did. I’ve never even broken a bone before, then all of a sudden I break my head.” She’s both a heeler and a breakaway roper; the latter being her top pick. As a roper, she’s following in the footsteps of her dad, Buster. “My dad rodeoed in high school, he won nationals in the team roping in 1988. But after college he stopped roping.” Buster had Siera running barrels and poles and trying her hand at goat tying when she decided roping was more her speed.
As for Siera’s mom, Sharon, basketball and track were her ticket back in the day. “She doesn’t really ride because she has knee problems but she is out there every night helping us.” Sharon has a handle on giving Siera advice for her mental game. Both of Siera’s little sisters – Breely, 7, and Riata, 6 – are quickly succumbing to the rodeo bug. The sport traces its roots back three generations in the Green family. At one time Siera was running poles on her grandpa’s heel horse. She almost made nationals on him before age took its toll.
In her final year with the NMHSRA, Siera has her sights set on nationals in the three-second event. Siera’s accident happened just after the first rodeo of the season and she hasn’t competed since. “Missing three rodeos is a lot, but we will see if I can come back from it or not. If I stay focused and trust my horse, I think we can make it happen.” Patience and determination are two traits Siera inherited from her dad and they will take her to the next level of rodeo. Not only does the Green family ranch, they also breed and train ranch horses. “I was scared when my dad asked if I wanted to high school rodeo. He told me it was intense but it has taught me many lessons and it’s where I met my best friend.”