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Announcers, Bullfighters & Barrelman
Hadley Barrett, is back for his 28th year with the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Born in North Platte, Neb., Hadley now lives in Kersey, Colo., where he loves to golf, fish and work with horses. He was raised in the cattle business, has competed in all rodeo events, and is frequently seen on horseback during the opening ceremonies at various rodeos. He is not only a colorful rodeo announcer, but a popular singer, interviewer and all around entertainer.
Hadley’s achievements include: Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Announcer of the Year, 1983, ’85, ’89, and 2002; Seven-time Canadian Finals Rodeo Announcer; Copenhagen Cup Finale (Mesquite, Texas) Announcer, 2000; Summer Tour Finale (Dallas, Texas), 2001-02; Tour Finale Challenge (Omaha, Neb.), 2005; Prairie Circuit Announcer of the Year, 1979; Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) TV Announcer 1980-90, ’94-2004; and Madison Square Garden Rodeo Announcer. Hadley was inducted into the PRCA Hall of Fame in 1999 and the National Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2008.
Randy Corley, the 2011 Rodeo Announcer of the year, is back for his 17th year with the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. Corley of North Platte, Neb., has been selected Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Announcer of the year 11 times: 1984, ’90-’96, ’98, 2003, and 2011. He was also the Original Coors Rodeo Showdown Announcer from 1993-1998; Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo Announcer: 1987, 1997 and 2008; and the Caldwell (Idaho) Night Rodeo Announcer from 1982-2011. He has also announced at Puyallup (Wash.) Rodeo, 1983-2012; Kitsap County Fair & Rodeo (Bremonton, Wash.), 1983-2011; La Fiesta de los Vaqueros (Tucson, Ariz.), 2005-2011; and the Buffalo Bill Rodeo (North Platte, Neb.), 1982-2011. In 2005, he and his daughter Amanda, became the first father-daughter tandem to work the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) as an announcer and timer. Randy has announced the NFR 12 times.
He says being mentally prepared before reaching for the microphone is the most difficult aspect of announcing. Corley estimates he spends four to five hours preparing for a performance. Corley, a former bareback and bull rider, started announcing rodeos after graduating from the Ron Bailey School of Broadcast in Seattle in 1978.
Bullfighters & Barrelman
There are two types of dirt heroes: bullfighters and barrelmen. Not only are both protectors for the bull riders, they are also additional entertainment for the crowd.
A bullfighter has many duties while in the arena. Not only does he serve as a distraction so the rider can safely dismount the bull, but he becomes a human barrier should a cowboy be bucked off and have trouble getting to his feet. If a rider’s hand becomes caught or “hung-up” in the rope, the bullfighters selflessly and intentionally put themselves in harm’s way to detangle the cowboy. These experts love one thing more than the adrenaline rush of being in front of a bull: helping cowboys do what they love, safely.
The barrelman may have a bit more commentary and get a few more laughs from the crowd than the bullfighters do, but he must also remain alert while on the dirt. While sitting atop his barrel, he must be ready to dive in at any time, not only to protect himself, but also to serve as a barrier for both cowboy and bullfighter alike.
While both barrelmen and bullfighters are entertaining and fun to watch, they always keep their priority at the front of their minds: keeping the riders’ safe.
The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo would like to welcome bullfighters Cody Webster, Chuck Swisher, Nate Jestes and barrelman Leon Coffee.