Spencer (left) and Jackson Brittan. Photo by Catie Staszak Media.
Jackson and Spencer Brittan have lived much of their lives in parallel.
Identical twins, the brothers share a tall, lean physique; gregarious personality; wide grins; and talent in the saddle.
But it’s two completely different careers that may have interconnected their paths more than ever.
The Brittan twins made a splash as young show jumping athletes, but after taking brief pauses to focus on their respective educations, Jackson and Spencer Brittan have found their places in the equestrian industry in different, yet collaborative capacities.
Spencer maintains his riding aspirations and has launched his own training business, Royal Oak Equestrian this year, while Jackson has found his niche as a real estate broker and runs his own business, MB Real Estate Group, working with land developers throughout South Florida.
“Jack is always there at the ring watching me and always has ideas with the horses that we bounce off each other," Spencer said. "And with regards to his real estate company, I am a shareholder, so we still work together in that way."
It was a local barn in Westlake, TX that first led the twins to horses. Spencer quickly got tired of watching Jackson take lessons from the sidelines, so he followed suit a year later at age nine.
“I was trying to catch up to him at the time, and I moved up pretty quickly,” Spencer recalled.
Fueling each other’s competitive drives, the brothers ascended up the ranks quickly while training under the likes of Peter Pletcher, John Roche and Shane Sweetnam. Jackson jumped his first Grand Prix at age 14 and won his first National Standard Grand Prix event in Lexington, KY at 16 years old. Spencer jumped his first Grand Prix that year, and won his first at 17.
Spencer Brittan and Ammann Equestrian's Stakan 4 at WEF 2023.
Photo by Catie Staszak Media.
Both jumped five-star classes at age 17 and appeared to be on similar trajectories until college, when the twins were separated for the first time. Spencer went to Dallas to study at Southern Methodist University, while Jackson went south to the University of Miami. While both pursued degrees in business management and marketing, their career aspirations suddenly varied greatly.
“I got to a point where I saw myself pursuing a career outside of riding horses, and Spencer was always 100% sure that’s what he was going to do,” Jackson said. “I had good opportunities with some developers and became very interested in real estate, so I stepped away from the horses and made that decision.”
Learning from experiences with National Land Partners and Meritage, Jackson became confident in his career path, and upon graduation he specialized in the brokering of land deals. In 2022, he launched his own business and formed a partnership with Romain Marteau, husband of international show jumper Brianne Goutal-Marteau, to expand his involvement in real estate.
“The cool thing about the brokering and development projects is that there aren’t a lot of people that do it or know that world,” Jackson said. “I also like brokering farms and houses in Wellington, because we know everyone here, and it’s fun helping out friends here.”
“[Jackson and Romain] have successfully sold farms, houses and just about everything in the equestrian community now,” Spencer added.
Spencer’s college story was on the opposite side of the spectrum, as he juggled competing at the top levels of the sport while commuting from school on the weekends. “I would jump 1.50m after not sitting on a horse for a few weeks,” he recalled. “I said, ‘I can’t wait to graduate so I can be on a horse every day.’”
“He never once questioned the horses,” Jackson said.
When he graduated, Spencer spent a year solely focused on competing, traveling around the country with Roche before a winter employment with Beerbaum Stables in Wellington. When that team returned to Europe for the summer, Spencer made the decision to remain in Wellington full-time and formally go out on his own. He rides, trains and coaches throughout the area while based out of Sergent Stables, home of professionals Erika Sergent and Daniel Michan.
“In the summer, I didn’t know if I would be busy enough, but there’s a big group of people who just want to stay here,” Spencer said. “I got way busier than I thought I would. I’m loving it.”
The brothers are still fueling each other competitively, albeit in their own respective industries. Spencer hopes to develop a new group of horses to the five-star level, while Jackson has set out to build MB Real Estate Group as the go-to brokerage in Wellington and South Florida. As the pair answers for the other and completes each other’s sentences—particularly when one is hesitant to brag for himself—it’s vividly apparent that they are each other’s biggest advocate.
“Our paths were so parallel our whole lives,” Jackson said.
“It works well with both of us now,” Spencer said, “because we complement each other.”