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Meet the Member Scott Halvertson
story by Lily Weinacht
The 2015 SDHSRA Tie-Down Roping Champion Scott Halverston from Fairview, S.D., finished his sophomore year with his first qualification to Nationals. A three-time NJHFR qualifier, he intends to travel to Rock Springs, Wyo., as many times for the NHSFR. He grew up watching his dad rope, and he was at home with a rope in his own hand by the time he turned five. “I first got into rodeo in sixth grade – my first year of junior high rodeo,” says 17-year-old Scott. “For me, rodeo isn’t necessarily about winning. It’s kind of like football – you have a schedule you go by and you don’t question going back again because you had so much fun being with your friends the last weekend!”
While Scott also competes in team roping, primarily as a heeler, and steer wrestling, he intends to build his rodeo career on tie-down roping. “I like that you don’t have to count on anybody else – it’s all on you if you mess up, and if you do, then you know what to improve on. Winning the state title was a surprise to me!” he says. “Nationals was a good experience – granted, it didn’t go very well for me – but I still took things from it. I enjoyed coming closer with all my friends during that week, and meeting people from just about everywhere in the U.S.!”
As Scott’s roping improves, so does his sportsmanship, especially as he considers PRCA tie-down roper Shane Hanchey his greatest rodeo idol. “I went to one of his roping schools in South Dakota in May, and he talked about tie-down roping, but he also talked about you as a person,” explains Scott. “He talked about positive thinking, working on who you want to be, and not relying on other people to do things for you.”
Likewise, Scott is a role model to his ten-year-old brother, John, who is just starting 4-H rodeo. The brothers practice their roping together and run calves for each other. Scott, John, and their parents, Dennis and Audrey, live in the country outside of Fairview. “We’re out in the middle of nowhere and I like it right where I am. It takes about 20 minutes to get to school – if I do the speed limit.” When he’s not in school, Scott is riding his horses, Pancho, his 12-year-old tie-down horse, and Ralphy, his ten-year-old team roping horse. For steer wrestling, he borrows a gelding named Sugar. Scott also raises his own roping calves.
A junior at Canton High School, Scott enjoys his Ag. classes, particularly Fundamentals of Animal Science. “This fall, I’m on the Ag. sales team, and in the spring I judge horses,” says Scott. He plays either guard or linebacker on his school’s football team, the C-Hawks, and the team won their opening game of the season, along with several more games since then. After school, Scott is either doing chores, riding his horses, roping the dummy, or working for his neighbors. “It’s more farm country than ranch country here, but I work my neighbor’s cattle,” Scott explains.
Though going to Nationals and state finals made up most of the Halverston family’s vacation, they spent Memorial Day Weekend in the Black Hills with several of their relatives. Scott’s idea of the perfect day, however, is team roping in the morning, tie-down roping in the afternoon, and having fresh steers, calves, and horses the whole day through.
Scott finishes, “Making it to Nationals the next two years in as many events as possible is my goal. I hope to college rodeo, and I’d like to pursue Fundamentals of Animal Science. You can go a lot of places with that.”