WEST OF THE PECOS RODEO: Seiler finds his voice in first trip to Pecos

PECOS Andy Seiler has been to and competed in plenty of rodeos in his lifetime.

The Ocala, Fla., native has been to the College National Finals three times from his days at Troy University in Alabama as a roper and as an announcer over the last few years.

However, up until this week there was one thing that the 34-year-old had not done before: Be the lead announcer at the West of the Pecos Rodeo.

“It’s very exciting,” Seiler said. “As a kid growing up, you know about it (Pecos) being the world’s first rodeo and to understand the history and be a part of it is a dream come true.”

It’s a reality for someone who has been all around the sport of rodeo for most of his life. Seiler understands what it takes to compete in the sport with all the long travel hours and full schedules across the country. So finally getting a chance to announce at the home of the world’s first rodeo is a special milestone for him.

“This is where the sport got its start,” Seiler said. “So to come back to the birthplace or the mothership of rodeo and be a part of that, it’s one of those things that I can check off my bucket list and I hope I can continue doing throughout my career.”

As Seiler sits on horseback, his role is to keep the crowd engaged and entertained whether someone has even been to a rodeo or not.

He is the one who gets to tell the stories of cowboys and cowgirls pursuing the ultimate goal of advancing to the National Finals in Las Vegas.

“The announcer is critical,” said Joe Keese, president of the West of the Pecos rodeo. “All these pieces that help bring the rodeo together are important, but once we start the show, we turn it over to him and the professionals.

“We are extremely fortunate to have sponsors of the rodeo that help us bring in the best of the best.”

Seiler wants to be able to do the best job he can no matter what rodeo he is announcing. He does that by making sure he’s ready for anything and his previous competitive experience lends itself to doing just that.

“There’s preparation that goes into it on both levels,” Seiler said. “But you always get that same exciting feeling. I get a chance to tell the stories of everyone else competing.

“I know what it feels like to win, so I want everyone in the stands to feel that same feeling and bridge the gap between competitor and fan.”

Building those relationships in and out of the arena is one of his favorite parts of the job.

“I love getting to hang out with the cowboys and cowgirls at each event,” he said. “I get to talk with them and get to know them because they’re my friends.”

At the end of the day, Seiler said, he wants to make sure that people enjoy themselves and he sees his storytelling ability as a way to do that.

“The other great part of this job is seeing a look in a young person’s eye when they see a horse, cow or steer for the first time,” Seiler said. “You watch young man or young lady on a winning ride that puts them on another level, hopefully to get the National Finals. Those are memories that are made at the rodeo that last a lifetime.”

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