Gerry Rodeo alum to appear on biggest stage
GERRY – A number of cowboys and cowgirls have passed through the Gerry Fire Department’s annual rodeo on their way to stardom in professional rodeo.
That success has continued in a big way as announcer Andy Seiler of Ocala, Florida, who got his professional rodeo career start in Gerry, has been named as one of the three announcers for the National Finals Rodeo to be held next month in Arlington Texas.
The NFR, often referred to as the World Series of Rodeo, is a 10-day, nationally televised competition which features the top 15 cowboys and cowgirls in the World Rankings in each of the eight traditional events and will pay more than $10 million in prize money.
Seiler, who was selected from rodeo announcers across the nation, will share the broadcast stage with Rodeo Hall-of-Famer Bob Tallman, who has worked the NFR more times than any other announcer, and with Roger Mooney, a two-time NFR broadcaster. He says that this came as a “complete surprise,” especially since most of his rodeo schedule was canceled this year, having worked only two rodeos as a result of the Corona-19 virus.
He says he is very thrilled, yet humbled, to be a part of this event which is now in its 35th year. He explained that his job will be to help his co-broadcasters bring information about the contestants and the stock, and to describe the excitement of this intense competition. In preparation, he is contacting each of the 120 contestants to get personal and career information about each one. He is also contacting the stock contractors for information about their animals which have been selected for this rodeo.
Rodeo has always been a part of Seiler’s life as both of his parents competed in rodeo, and he was a three-time champion team roper in the National High School Finals Rodeo. He went on to qualify three times for the College National Finals Rodeo while attending Troy College in Alabama. To help pay for his college expenses, Seiler began announcing at amateur rodeos, which led to an invitation from legendary announcer Boyd Polhamus for Seiler to be his co-announcer at the National College Rodeo Finals in 2008. Later that year he was hired by the Barnes Rodeo Company and made his first trip to Gerry, which was one of only three rodeos that he worked that summer.
After three years of working various rodeos, including Gerry, he decided it was time to get “a real job”, and he gave up rodeo announcing to work for a feed supply company in Florida. During this time, he married his childhood sweetheart, only to have things interrupted with a phone call, again from Polhamus, who asked Seiler to fill in as the announcer at the prestigious RodeoHouston. From there his announcing career took off as he was in demand at rodeos across the nation. Little did he realize that would lead him to the top of the rodeo world and a spot behind the microphone at the National Finals Rodeo.
As Seiler prepares for the intense pressure he will face on the national stage, he says he doesn’t know how he could get through life without his faith. He and his wife Lauren believe in family values as they and their two little ones pray together at mealtime and bedtime. Even as his career heads to new heights with this honor, he says that family and faith will still be his priorities.
This year’s NFR will be televised nationally on the Cowboy Channel and RFD-TV nightly from Thursday, Dec. 3 through Saturday, Dec. 12. Additional information is available on the website www.prorodeo.com.
Gerry Rodeo chairman Tom Atwell says that he is excited for Seiler’s success and that this is a reminder that the Gerry Rodeo is a true professional rodeo and plays a part in producing champions who shine on the national rodeo stage.
The Gerry Fire Department is already making plans for their 76th annual rodeo in their arena just north of Jamestown for four performances, Aug. 4-7, 2021, after a one-year absence due to the pandemic. Rodeo fans can get more information, including the history of this rodeo, by visiting www.gerryrodeo.org