By Lillian Landreth
Working The American Rodeo is an experience Anthony Lucia will never forget. The trick roper, team roper, and now rodeo announcer from Weatherford, Texas not only announced The Crown Jewel of Rodeo with Garrett Yerigan, but also hustled on to interviews with the champions immediately following the action. Over the past two years, Anthony has done both jobs individually. He was honored—and challenged—to tackle them simultaneously in 2023. “I doubted myself at times if I could do it, to go from entertaining during a live event to that special moment of talking with someone who’s advancing or just won $100,000. But by the grace of God I got through it, and it was an honor to be part of it all.”
Sharing the Lifestyle Becomes a Career
Anthony’s metamorphosis from working within the arena to being the voice of professional rodeo stems from his passion for sharing his beloved lifestyle with others. He grew up traveling and working alongside his dad, ProRodeo Hall of Famer Tommy Lucia, who is famous for his specialty act Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey. Anthony picked up trick roping when he was 9 and learned to team rope, entering on friends’ horses when the opportunity arose. “If I wasn’t roping, I wanted to help in the announcer’s stand, or I did interviews. I taught newscasters how to rope, and I would do private events with my dad and announce the whole show. I learned that I loved to communicate to the audience and convey my love for the sport and animals.”
In 2009, Anthony forged a trail of his own as a professional trick roper. He was nominated into the top five of the PRCA Specialty Act of the Year 2011–2013 and performed at the WNFR 2010–2013. Anthony also continued polishing his announcing skills, working amateur rodeos and earning his PRCA announcer’s card in 2011. This led him to television and Western newscasting, primarily for RideTV, CBS Sports, and the PBR. Then COVID hit and everything came to a sliding stop. “When you work in live events and rodeo, if you’re not traveling and working, you’re not making money. Those rodeos that happened kept us afloat financially, and in August of 2020, I made the decision to go full-fledged into rodeo announcing.”
The decision to leave TV broadcasting took Anthony and his wife, Lisa, Miss Rodeo America 2017, into uncertain terrain, but they both felt God had placed them there for a reason. “I knew it was a test within myself—would I commit to this, or still walk the line and pick and choose? Two days later, The American called me and asked if I would announce The American in 2021. COVID reset the rodeo world, and next thing I knew, people were calling me. I went from 15 rodeo performances in 2020 to 53 in 2021, 70-plus in 2022, and this year is absolutely insane,” says Anthony, who was nominated for Rodeo Announcer of the Year in 2022 and finished second. “It’s just a testament that it’s not anything I did but that I worked hard in the places God put me, and now I’ve had the privilege of announcing some of the biggest and best rodeos in the world.
Greatest Story Ever Told
“What I love most is being able to narrate the greatest story ever told, and that’s professional rodeo. I love being able to take people on a journey and help them feel every single emotion throughout the event. I use stats or stories, wins or misses, to explain why the story is important, and that’s how we create fans. When Stetson Wright was about to nod his head at The American, I asked the audience if they wanted to witness history or be a part of history. Rodeo fans have an innate ability of making history happen through the energy and noise they make, and that fuels competitors to do amazing things. I think it’s those moments that are forever emblazoned in my mind, and it’s so special to be the voice in that moment.”
About the Author
Lillian Landreth is a freelance writer and editor. She particularly enjoys writing about rodeo and the extraordinary people and animals who make the lifestyle fascinating. The author of more than 1,000 stories, her writing has appeared in the Rodeo News; The Ketchpen, published by the Rodeo Historical Society and National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; and local newspapers. She is also working on her first novel. When she’s not writing, Lily enjoys riding with the Snake River Stampeders night light drill team, coaching the EhCapa Bareback Riders, a PRCA specialty act, and teaching horseback riding lessons. She makes her home in Southwest Idaho with her entrepreneurial husband, their dog, horse, and cows.
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