The Pro Football Hall of Famer gives us an inside look at the life he and wife Tammy have been enjoying on their Oklahoma quarter-horse ranch.
Perhaps best known for his remarkable 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and leading the team to four Super Bowl titles between 1975 and 1980, Terry Bradshaw still has a dream on his bucket list: “to own 100 good brood mares.”
The Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback is almost as enthusiastic about breeding and raising quarter horses as he was about winning his fourth Super Bowl ring. And it’s more than a fantasy: Bradshaw owns a 750-acre quarter horse ranch, the Terry Bradshaw Quarter Ranch, in Thackerville, Oklahoma, bordering the Red River just a stone’s throw from the Texas state line.
Since retiring from the NFL more than 35 years ago, Bradshaw has brought his gridiron success into the broadcast booth for a winning run as co-host and analyst for Fox NFL Sunday, which has earned him three Sports Emmy Awards.
His acting career is as varied as his football passes: He’s appeared in Failure to Launch with Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker; voiced Broken Arm Boot in the animated film Robots; and had a heck of a lot of fun with Burt Reynolds in Cannonball Run. He’s even gotten into the reality genre. He joined Henry Winkler, George Foreman, William Shatner, and Jeff Dye on NBC’s comedic travel show Better Late Than Never for group adventures in the Far East in the first season and Spain, Morocco, and Germany in the second. And most recently Bradshaw was revealed on the third episode of The Masked Singer after having appeared incognito in the head-to-toe costume and face mask of “The Deer.”
We spoke with Bradshaw from his ranch as he and wife Tammy were preparing to put it on the market and Terry was busy with a new season of Fox NFL Sunday and already looking forward to Super Bowl 54 on February 2 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Read on for Terry’s tips about the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, the American Quarter Horse World Championship Show in Oklahoma City, and coffee in bed.
Hitting a First-Class Casino
The WinStar Casino, which is only four miles north, [is] the largest casino in the world. It’s incredible. I think from one end of the casino to the other is almost a mile walk. Now they’re getting ready to build their third 500-room hotel, which will give them 1,500 rooms. It’s unbelievable. The WinStar is gorgeous. They’ve got a beautiful 36-hole golf course designed by D.A. Weibring. They’ve got [an] outdoor arena now [with] bull riding there.
Instead of going to a movie, we’ll say, “Who’s playing at WinStar tonight?” And we’ll watch Cher, Dwight Yoakam — he’s a buddy of mine; I know him. We’ll go to his concert. I went to Jay Leno; I went to Michael Montgomery. We went to Alan Jackson, oh, and Brooks & Dunn. [And] Steven Tyler [with Aerosmith]. Steven Tyler’s one of the coolest dudes. And he is a huge Terry Bradshaw fan, which I did not know. I was shocked. My wife was shocked. We were both shocked. He was making the biggest fuss over us. I was like, “Wow, is this guy serious?”
Hanging With Horses
We go to Oklahoma City to attend horse shows and to show horses. We go there two or three times a year. During the [AQHA] World Show we’ll make auctions, but primarily we go there strictly to show horses. At the American Quarter Horse World Show, which is our Super Bowl and is there every year in November, we show in halter. We’ll show for a solid week. You can show a weanling, a yearling, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, aged horses —you can show male and female in all classes. And then you can show geldings. It's a big-time show with lots of horses. Thousands and thousands of horses.
I would encourage anyone that loves the American Quarter Horse, you have to go to the American Quarter Horse World. You can go online and you will get the itinerary for pleasure or reining or roping, dressage, jumping, [or] cutting. The cutting is phenomenal. You can see every type of performance that a quarter horse or any horse can do. [It’s] in the most modern facility in America. They redid the entire thing. It is gorgeous. Not only that, the show rooms where all the suppliers are — for saddles, for silverware, for clothing, hats, boots, round ups, trailers, trucks, tractors — it is all on display in glorious fashion.
It’s the most incredible time that you can have. People come from around the world just for the two weeks of that show, just to see all of this. … All of us compete against one another and we’re all friends. We go out [and] we compete against one another throughout the year. We meet there, and it’s a big family atmosphere.
Kicking Back With the Bradshaws
We’re both early risers, go to bed early too. [Tammy] and I are two peas in a pod. I would say this on the marriage counseling side, for anybody that would want to know: If your wife or your husband, [if] the two of you have the same likes, the same thoughts, the same feelings and expressions, that’s a good relationship. We absolutely finish each other’s thoughts. We’ll even be going down the road, and I’ll say, “You’re not going to believe what I’m thinking.” And she’ll say, “You’re wanting to stop and get some yogurt.” And I’ll look at her like, Oh my God, how did you know that? It’s scary.
We like to get up together; we like to have breakfast together. We have coffee in bed every morning, which, by the way, she brings me, and today I reciprocated. We get up; we eat a light breakfast so I can take my medicine. … This time of the year it’s exciting. We go up to the barn and we go through the barn where all our mares and our babies are. We meet with the guy that oversees our quarter horses; he walks with us and we look through all our babies, all our mares. We go through all the babies and hug all of them. … All our babies are so broke. You can just go in there and they'll come up to you. You can love all over them. They love people. It’s so much fun.
Then we’ll come back and have coffee, and then we’ll start work on the internet. I read all the news. Tammy runs the office now and all our quarter horse studs. ... She's got to pull a half day at least, and more sometimes. And then we’ll say, “Let’s go fishing.”
Photography: Courtesy Icon Global