Chuck Swisher’s interest in the western industry started at 15 years old and he knew he wanted to do something cowboy…ish. He grew up with a bull rider for a father and thought he would try his hand at following in his footsteps. His parents got all the necessary gear for freshman Chuck but then at the last minute, he chickened out. Little did he know, his place was not actually riding bulls, but something a little different.
Word traveled fast in the tiny town of Dover, Oklahoma. It wasn’t long before all 300 people knew Chuck wouldn’t be seen gracing the bucking chutes anytime soon. Soon after that though, Chuck took an interest in the craft of a senior at his same high school. Still determined to be a cowboy like his dad even if in a somewhat different way, he set his sights on bull fighting. Supportive of this next endeavor, Chuck’s parents sent him to a bull fighting school for him to learn the basics. He did just that and away he went.
It wasn’t until 2012 at the age of 21 that he finally got his PRCA card. What did it for him though was making sure that he already had plenty of rodeos lined up in advance for his rookie year. He steadily fought bulls in the PRCA into 2013 and then in 2014, he got the call to come work the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas.
For Swish, the road to the NFR was crazy to say the least. He says ever since he first started fighting bulls, it had always been a dream of his. But, it was something he never really thought was actually attainable, especially since it took him so long to take the plunge and get his PRCA card. Then one days his phone rang and something that was once completely unattainable was actually becoming a reality. This was it. He was going to fight bulls in Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack.
After weeks and weeks of preparation, Vegas was finally here. Chuck said, “When you’re walking to the gates of the arena, you walk down a long hallway and there’s about 20 trashcans on each side spaced out every few feet. I stopped at every single trash can before I passed it…I finally got to the last one and puked right before I stepped on the dirt. Couldn’t believe myself. I looked up and one of the security guards told me, You remind me of Joe Bumgarner. He’d puke in that same trash can before every performance.”” Guess Chuck wasn’t in bad company.
Swish straightened up and got his bearings then stepped out of the tunnel, into the lights, and on to the dirt. This was it.
Chuck pursued a dream that he didn’t really even know was a dream or had the possibility of coming true. He persevered and even when he stopped just before entering that arena, he took control of himself to make his dream a reality.
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Article by Katie Armstrong