story by Lindsay Humphrey “It’s probably cliché, but rodeo isn’t just what we do it’s who we are,” said current M-SRA President Jason Schnoor. “I […]
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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 a Nebraska High School Rodeo Association event in 2015. The pair has been together ever since, and they’ve been heading and heeling for each other for the same amount of time. Originally from Arthur, Emily now calls Anselmo, Nebraska, home. Even though Emily is also an avid breakaway roper, heading for Doug is her favorite past time. “He pushes me to do better and helps me with a lot of things,” she said. “And he keeps me mounted pretty well too. He’s excellent at finding new prospects for our program. Roping with Doug is fun because when we succeed it’s that much sweeter because it’s with my husband.”
The oldest of three sisters, Emily is the only one who followed in her dad’s footsteps to the rodeo arena. She started at just 5-years-old and took it all the way to both Hastings College and the University of Nebraska¬ – Lincoln. “Growing up in rodeo was always rewarding. It taught me simple things like time management and how to work hard. But it also made me tough mentally. If you miss a calf, you just have to shake it off and go to the next one. There’s always another calf or steer in the chute at the end of the day.” The mental game rodeo instilled in Emily pushed her through school and helped her land a job with the American Angus Association as the commercial programs administrator for AngusLink.
Coming from a town where the boys were the only ones team roping, Emily has always had a soft spot for the mixed event. That lead to her current role as the M-SRA mixed team roping director. “I could see some changes I could make that would benefit the event and knew being the director was the way to make it happen. I wanted to help not only the women, but their partners as well.” As the event has grown, Emily knows it has attracted attention from both competitors and potential sponsors. Emily helped last year’s director at the finals and took over the position back in September when the new season officially began. She’s looking forward to helping grow the event this year.
In addition to her director role, Emily will continue to head for Doug and rope calves. She’s mounted on a favorite prospect for 2022. Fondly named Pedro, the Finney’s acquired the gelding when he was 4 years old. The now 7-year-old colt was bred and raised by Tierney Quarter Horses out of Broken Bow, Nebraska. “Doug’s been heeling on him for the last two years and I’ve been running calves on him this winter. He’s quick, catty and has a cool color on him: a dark dun with a dorsal stripe.” Emily gives Doug all the credit for finding their rodeo prospects. She joked that he rides the buck of them and gets them soft before handing them off to her to ride.
This will be Emily’s fourth year as a member of the M-SRA. “I like how the membership includes a lot of different people from across Nebraska as well as from several different states. The finals are always really good, they [the M-SRA] put on a big show for the state.” The finals are held in Broken Bow, which is just a short trip up the road from Emily’s house. She’s enjoyed seeing family and friends in the crowd at the finals each year. As Emily thinks about the upcoming season, she has some lofty goals for herself. “I want to get one of my projects going and seasoned in the breakaway and possibly the heading. As a director I’d like to get more added money for the finals for the mixed so it’s more competitive at the end of the year. We travel 1,000s of miles all summer to get to the finals so I want the teams to get there and have a chance at some big added money.”