Meet the Member Emily Finney
story by Lindsay Humphrey Last summer, Emily changed her last name from Vinton to Finney when she married Doug. It was a match made at […]
story by Terry Rhodes
Mark Swanson could be considered one of the veterans of the Mid-States Rodeo Association with over 25 years as a member. Over the years he’s made a lot of friends in the Mid-States Rodeo Association and likes being part of the group because of the number of rodeos and their locations. He’ll get to upwards of 45 of the Mid-States rodeos each year. “I can get to two or three in a weekend and really don’t have to travel that far away from home.”
He competes in team roping and used to steer wrestle, “…before I got old.” as he says. Most often Mark is doing the heeling while his header, Jerry Buckles is spinning steers for him. “I’ve probably roped with Jerry for15 years.” Mark also belongs to the NSRA and PRCA.
It was easy for Mark to break into the sport since he grew up in a rodeo family. He credits his parents, Allen and Joy Swanson as being the ones that made it all possible for him. “They always supported me in anything that I did and made sure I had everything I needed. It didn’t matter what it was as long I tried hard at it. My dad rodeoed, I have three sisters that rodeo, so I was right in the middle of it. I pretty much started competing when I was in high school. I rodeoed in college at Laramie Community College in Cheyenne on a rodeo scholarship.” His major was ag business.
Being a naturally competitive person is a big plus and Mark says it doesn’t matter if its team roping or checkers, he wants to win. “I’ve always been that way and I was raised that way. So I do everything I can to make it so that I can win.” Hard work and diligence to practice have produced a lot of success for Mark over the years, but one time stands out for him. “I made it to the Dodge Circuit Finals in Pocatello 2008. With a wife and family and job, Pro rodeo wasn’t my main priority, I still made those Finals and that was a big accomplishment for me.”
Mark, 43 and his wife, Tammie raise horses and his competition horses are home made. “I pretty much raise and train everything I ride. Before we started raising horses, I’d ride horses that my dad raised. I don’t have any favorite bloodlines for rope horses; I’ll ride anything I think I can catch on.”
Keeping up with the couple’s 9-year-old twins, Reese and Rylan, keeps Mark off the couch and in the arena helping them. “They’re wanting to rodeo so I stay pretty busy getting them going. They’re both starting to ride and rope, so we’re taking them to kid’s rodeos. They help out a lot here on the ranch too.” Mark and Tammie live in Arthur, Neb. where they ranch. Family time is spent in the arena or attending kid’s functions. Long term goals are to help his kids in their school and careers and be a successful rancher.
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