Around the Arena

Chopaka Rodeo Committee, 1997.
The Chopaka Rodeo has been organized by several Native and Non-Native ranching families for over thirty years.
Photograph by Leslie Tepper

Behind the arena, there are offices where the officials gather, participants register and photographers sell their best images. Surrounding the arena are public spaces where food, crafts and souvenirs are sold. These elements are all part of the exciting atmosphere of the rodeo.

The Registration Office

A lot goes on behind the scenes at a rodeo. The event is often organized by volunteers, who also raise funds, arrange advertising, register participants, keep records, sell tickets, produce the program and answer phones.

The Rodeo Announcer

Rodeo announcers are hired by stock contractors, who provide the stock for the rodeo and quite often organize the event. Announcers have many duties, including keeping the crowd entertained between events, advertising sponsors, explaining the events and supporting the riders with calls for applause.

George Saddleman, Okanagan, the announcer at the Quilchena Rodeo, 1996
Photograph by Troy Hunter, courtesy of the Nicola Valley Tribal Association

Being a rodeo announcer can be real exciting because you've got the front row seat to all the rodeo action. You know who is coming out in the rough stock events or the timed events. Basically, you work with the stock contractor, so you can describe how old the horse is and where he has been, how many he's bucked off, and who's won money on him. You work with the judges as well, so you can describe the play by play of what's actually happening with the rodeo. And same with the contestants, you get to know them because you've been travelling with them. Rodeo people get together and that's all they talk about is rodeo. The world could be falling apart you know, and that's all people talk about.

George Saddleman, Okanagan, rodeo announcer, Upper Nicola, British Columbia

Introduction | What makes Native Rodeo Different? | History of Rodeo Associations | Rodeo Heroes | The Rodeo Arena | The Rodeo Circuit | Rodeo Events | Down the Road