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California Gymkhana Association

Local District Responsibility:

Announcer

The announcer controls the tempo and attitude of the show. The announcer should be someone who will speak loudly and clearly, properly enunciate rider names, and be respectful of others. Local districts may set age requirements for their announcers.

Announcers at any show are very important to the success of the show. An announcer can make a show fun or can be upsetting to riders.

Show time writer and announcer (left to right)
What are the Announcer's Responsibilities?
The duties and responsibilities of the Announcer include the following:
Time should be allowed for each rider to warm up their horse. The announcer should give a warning prior to the start of an event, and read the names on the announcer's sheet of the next three contestants to compete throughout each event. For example: "Next in is Amy Adams, followed by John Jones and Kim Conners."
  Announce a rider's time only after the Judge's signal. In the announcement, include the rider's name with the time (thousandth of a second), and include all penalties given by the Judge. For example: "That was a good ride, Jim, with a time of 21.191." or "That was a good ride, Judy. With a two second penalty, your time is 18.552." or "I'm sorry, Michelle, that was a 'No Time'."
  Ensure the rider in the arena is indeed the rider you called. If not, make the appropriate adjustment. This will help ensure the correct time is documented to the correct rider.
 

Document each rider's time correctly as displayed on the timer down to the thousandth of a second, e.g., '8.492', onto the announcer's sheet. Ensure the time writer does the same. If the ride is a 'No Time', write the rider's time, cross it out with one line, then write 'N/T'. If a penalty is assessed by the judge, write the original time, cross it out with one line, then write the time with the penalty added. Write the penalty in the penalty box next to the time. This will ensure State Office that there was a penalty, and it was added to the rider's time.

  Be sure to sign the announcer's sheet and document the judge's name after the event is complete. The announcer's sheet is then submitted to the Show Secretary for entry onto the computer.
  Do not interfere with a rider’s ride by talking on the microphone when the rider is in the arena.
  Do not announce a good ride or disqualification without a signal from the judge.
  When a one minute call is given by the Judge for a rider to enter the arena, use the timers to begin keeping track of the one minute. Announce when 30 seconds are left, 15 seconds, and when the minute is complete. If the designated rider successfully enters the arena ready to compete within the one minute, reset the timers to be ready for the rider to compete.
  During Figure 8 Flags and Figure 8 Stake events, determine whether the announcer or time writer will hit the 'RESTART' button on the timer during each rider's ride. This must be done after the rider has crossed the timer line for the second time (started the course, made the first figure 8, and crosses back over the timer line heading for the second figure 8), but before the rider completes the course by crossing the timer line a third time.

Do's:

  1. Be upbeat and cheerful. Never make any negative comments over the PA system for any reason.
  2. Explain how the show will be run; i.e. dress code, either age groups or speed divisions and the sequence they will be called to run, awards they will be competing for that day, and that their runs will count toward district and year end State awards if they are registered for these awards. Additional information can be obtained from the Horse Show Secretary.
  3. A clear voice is imperative.
  4. Check the volume and clarity of the sound system and how close to hold the mike. Make sure the riders can hear you in the warm-up areas.
  5. Have a system to call up the rider that is to ride and the riders who need to be ready. For example: The next event will be single stake race. We'll start with AAA+ horses. The 1st rider in is Julie Jones, with Tanya Smith on deck, and John Davis be ready (or 'get your boots on', etc.)
  6. Pronounce the rider’s name correctly. If unsure, ask how to pronounce it correctly.
  7. Announce the names of your judge, secretaries, and gate people.
  8. Keep the show running at a fairly fast pace.
  9. Watch for signals from the judge. The judge has complete control of all arena functions, including the announcers booth and timers. Do NOT announce the result of any ride until you have a signal from the judge.

Don'ts:

  1. Never use profanity or off color jokes.
  2. Never show anger or negativity.
  3. Never call a good ride and time or a timer malfunction before you get the judge’s signal.
  4. Don’t leave the mike on and allow the public to hear conversations going on in the booth.
  5. Don’t discuss the riders among yourselves.
  6. Don’t announce anything or talk while the rider is on course unless the judge signals you to do so for safety reasons.
  7. Never make personal comments about a rider over the PA system.
  8. Remember that you are the announcer, not the show manager or judge. If there is a problem, let the show manager or judge work it out.
  9. If the timer fails, do not say so until the judge gives the signal for a good or bad ride. If the rider does not have a good ride, it does not matter whether the timer worked or not.
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