RANGER Athlete, Lisa Lockhart, Is Living Her Dream
Story By: Savannah Rose
Photos Courtesy Of Polaris Inc. By: Kenneth Springer
From horses to horsepower, Lisa Lockhart works and plays hard. She’s not just a Champion Barrel Racer, she’s a full-time rancher, a Team Polaris Athlete, and member of the Polaris Empowersports Women’s Riding Council. Oh, and she’s also a wife, and a mother of three. Lisa took a break between barrel races at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo to chat with us about her amazing life, family, horses and her Polaris RANGER.
Hailing from Oelrichs, South Dakota, Lisa spends her days on her family ranch, training horses, caring for the cows, and putting her RANGER to work. The whole family puts in time too, from husband Grady, to her three kids, Alyssa, Thane and Cade. A day’s work for the crew consists of pretty standard ranch chores, from throwing bales of hay, fixing fencing, and feeding the animals. The cows have in fact learned the sound of the RANGER, and they know that distinctive rumble means it’s suppertime.
When she’s not at home on the range, Lisa is out riding at the Rodeo, where she’s a multi-championship winning Barrel Racer. Barrel Racing is a fan favorite at the rodeos, because it’s pretty easy to understand – there are three barrels as obstacles, and the racers form a cloverleaf around them, usually with one right and two lefts, or sometimes the opposite. She’s been a horse racer for most of her life, starting to participate in rodeos at about age 6. She grew up with a pony as her babysitter, and has turned her love for horses, and for competition, into an incredible career. She’s got a few horses, including her champion, Louie, “whose reputation proceeds (hers)” and her two current champs-in-training, Rosa and Cutter. Lisa’s husband is a professional Roper, and her kids also participate in the rodeo, so it’s really a full family affair.
We asked Lisa a few questions about her rodeo life, her ranch life, and what it’s like to be a Team Polaris Athlete…
USM: How were you introduced to powersports, particularly Polaris?
LL: Well, I started riding motorcycles as a kid, along with riding horses. Later in life, living on the ranch, we always had some old 4 wheelers. Then, some relatives were selling their RANGER, we bought it and fell in love. They’re so useful on the ranch, they’re absolute workhorses. Then, in 2014 I won a new RANGER at the American Rodeo in Dallas, and I’ve been absolutely hooked ever since.
USM: What’s it like being a Team Polaris Athlete?
LL: I love the Polaris Team and being a part of the program! I’ve learned so much about the company and the innovations they’ve made. They’re always asking for our input, and how we use our RANGER. Being on the team and having the interaction with Polaris has been a blast!
And they’ve been avid supporters of the rodeo for years – especially the PRCA and the American Rodeo.
USM: How do you use your UTV, do you ride recreationally or just put it to work?
LL: For now, it’s just a workhorse. We are always working on the ranch, so it gets put to use for everything from hauling feed to training the horses. The kids do get to use it for some fun, and hunting, but it’s primarily our “work truck”. One day I’d like to retire, and travel and have the UTV and visit some places I’ve never been, like the Grand Canyon, Utah or maybe the Pacific Northwest. I travel for a living now, but I rarely get time to stop and smell the roses, as I’ve got to get back to work, or back for the kids’ basketball games or rodeos.
USM: What’s it like being on the Polaris Women’s Empowersports Council?
LL: When they first asked me I was like ‘Are you sure?!’ and they said ABSOLUTELY. I’m not so much in it for the recreational aspect, but that didn’t deter them. We just had our first council meeting, and it is so incredible to hear the different perspectives. We’ve got a stunt woman, snow riders, motorcyclists, it’s truly an amazing group of badass women. It’s so refreshing to see the vehicles from a different perspective, too. They’ve always been work vehicles for me, and I get to see them used differently and gain a new appreciation for the vehicles, and these women.
USM: How does it feel knowing that you are an inspiration to so many women, from powersports to equine sports?
LL: Honestly, it’s a little awkward! It’s hard to look at myself from that perspective. Like having lines of people waiting for your autograph at the rodeo, it’s incredible but it’s hard to see myself like that! I’m just a normal person… But it’s cool to know that you can make a difference in someone’s life. I’m always telling people to follow their dreams, and never give up. I sign the autographs with “be fearless” because I want people to have confidence in what they do, and if they fail, to try, try again. Never give up! I strive to be very encouraging to get people to go out and try it, and don’t be afraid. There’s a whole world out there if you open your eyes and go experience it.
Lisa truly is an incredible athlete, and so are her horses. At the time of writing, she was at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Texas, mid way through the competition. She’s a 14x WNFR qualifier, which is truly impressive, along with 6 wins in 2019 and two in 2020. She’s an inspiration to many young women in rodeo, and is set to be an inspiration for women in powersports and UTVs as well. Follow along with her on Instagram at @Team_Lockhart.