There’s an art to rodeo announcing and Tom Nealey has honed his craft over his 30-year career.

“You look for stories to tell,” Nealey said. “You try to do you research. Know where they’ve been. How they’ve been doing.” 

The rodeo has always been a part of Nealey’s life. 

“I grew up in a family we trained horses. [My] Brothers were rodeo-ing and I followed their path through high school and college and then was competing quite a little bit myself,” Nealey said. “Then I broke a leg.” 

So he decided to move out of the arena and into the announcer’s booth. 

“[I] found out you could still rodeo and it was a lot safer,” Nealey said. “Unless you really do a bad job up in the announcer stand.”

Between working with the rodeo clowns and doing play by play Nealey stays busy in the announcer’s stand, but he says it’s just  as exciting as riding.

“It’s fun there’s just a spontaneity and something happens at them,” Nealey said. “I swear by the end of the night the two announcers will have the most fun at the rodeo.” 

Nealey has been coming to New Windsor for about 10 years. He said this rodeo is like a time capsule. 

“A lot of changes have occurred in the world of announcing rodeos and rodeo itself,” Nealey said. “This rodeo here, the unique thing about it is it’s stayed very traditional. So at this rodeo you get to see what it was like 40 years [ago] to have a rodeo: the big arena, the woven wire fence, the whole works.”

Nealey says there’s another thing that will never change: the crowd. 

“It’s like any kind of performance whether you’re playing guitar or what you enjoy the crowd and you want to have them have a good time,” he said. “[If] they’re thrilled by it, well, then it’s a good night. It’s hard to get to sleep on those nights.”