Meet the Member Marvin Blanton

by Rodeo News

by Lily Weinacht

Marvin Blanton from Campobello, South Carolina, took up the microphone 17 years ago and has since become the voice of numerous rodeos in the SPRA, IPRA, SRA, and NCA. The 56-year-old grew up in Blanket, Texas, and competed in junior and high school rodeos before pursuing team roping on the amateur circuit. When introduced to steer tripping in his 20s by PRCA ropers Guy Allen and Dan Fisher, Marvin purchased his PRCA card and tripped steers for several years. “My hat’s off to those guys – they are incredible Christian men who put me on another path to participate in rodeo at a different level,” says Marvin. “As my kids came along and money went to their rodeoing, my competing slowed down, and that’s when I picked up the rodeo announcing as another way to help us get down the road.”
Yet he wasn’t simply looking for another means of income. Marvin describes his job at the time as bleak, and he wanted to re-create and make a brand for himself in a market he could excel in. He wrote out a list of approximately 100 jobs he was interested in, then cut down the list by halves until just three items remained – rodeo announcing, horseshoeing, and auctioneering. “I’d been in the rodeo business for years by then, so I had contacts,” Marvin explains. “I bought some equipment and invested. My contacts put me to work, and it took off!”
His years of rodeoing gave Marvin a true feel for how a rodeo should flow. “I didn’t go to any schools, but I give credit to Ray Duncan for teaching me to focus on the entertainment of the audience, and Ken Treadway and Ernie Treadway and their rodeo companies for opening up doors for me. I’ve always tried to stay well-grounded and remind myself that rodeo is not about the announcer, it’s about the announcer entertaining the crowd. They should get every bit of their money’s worth out of coming to these events, and I want to make sure they are absolutely informed and entertained. That protects the sport for tomorrow and keeps it alive and growing.”
In 2016, Marvin announced about 30 rodeos, and the year before, he bought his SPRA card after meeting Billy Hudson at an IPRA rodeo. “The SPRA is really in a good, central location, and they’ve done a good job of growing the association,” says Marvin. He enjoys announcing from horseback or the stand, depending on the stock contractor, while his wife, Jennifer, and daughter Leah run music for him. “They’re both very good at packaging a show for the rodeo we’re working, and they’re on spot working for the dress acts and funny men. I’ve been very blessed that it allows us to travel as a family.” Marvin and Jennifer have four children: Sara, who is stationed in San Antonio in the U.S. Army; Jared, a tie-down roper; Avereigh, a senior at Lander University; and Leah, a breakaway roper and barrel racer in the SRA.
“I don’t compete as much as I used to, but I do some team ropings now and then, and if we get to rope at the house, I’m tickled,” says Marvin. He hauls his own horse for announcing, a Paint named Whiskey. “For announcing, it really takes a special horse. If I’m coming into a building and there’s a spotlight, they have to trust me and not care about anything else. Animals feed off our energy, and my job is to produce high-energy entertainment, so I need a horse that doesn’t care what my energy level is. I’m fortunate to work with really good pickup men, but if something goes awry and you’re on horseback, you may need to step up and help as well.”
During the week, Marvin works full-time as a plant manager for a telecommunications company, managing the production of aluminum clad wire, and the maintenance department. He also enjoys fly fishing in the winter between rodeos, many of which Leah has worked with him. “I’ve been blessed to do what I do,” he finishes. “I thank God above for talents, blessings, and abilities beyond measure, not only for myself, but for my family.”

© Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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