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Professional rodeo announcer and, these days, occasional roper Anthony Lucia has a busy travel schedule. Last year, the Brock, Texas, resident announced at 43 rodeos. He says seeing so much of the country has been the best part of going to that many rodeos.
“Just this year alone, I’ve been to Pennsylvania, Louisiana — I spend a lot of time in Texas, obviously — but I also went to Alaska for an Xtreme Bulls event [and] spent a lot of time in California, North Dakota, Montana, Utah. There’s not a state I have not been to.”
Of his travels, Lucia says Utah and California have been highlights, but north and central Texas are his favorites.
“One thing I will say is there’s very few places where you can’t find beauty in this country,” Lucia says. “Whether it’s the people, the countryside, the atmosphere, the culture. This is an amazing place with amazing people.”
Life on the rodeo road can be an adven- ture, but it can also be a challenge on several fronts.
“There’s always uncertainty with flights,” Lucia says. “Anytime you’re flying, you always try to give yourself plenty of time. But the way airlines work now, sometimes there’s been instances where they cancel flights, and next thing you know, you’re driving all night trying to get to a place and then you have to work the next day.”
As an announcer, Lucia’s pay is guaranteed, unlike competitors who go through the same challenges but with performance-based payout.
“It’s calculated gambling — that’s how I heard it described by a world champion steer wrestler one time,” Lucia says.
He shares some tips that have helped smooth the way for his nomadic seasons.
Lucia always packs an impact drill — purchased from Amazon or your local hardware store — with sockets that fit your truck and your trailer. Lucia says this tool will remove lug nuts when you have a blowout, for example. He prefers one from DeWalt with a battery.
“Do not leave home without one of those,” Lucia says. “It’s like a drill, but you put a socket on it, and you reverse it out. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make.”
Some folks wear their boots on the plane for packing ease. Lucia used to travel in full Western wear including his boots. These days, he’ll wear less-restrictive clothing, shoes and his cowboy hat on the plane.
“When flying, pick your most comfortable pair of boots or shoes and pants, no reason to make the day of flying any harder by wearing uncomfortable clothes,” Lucia says. “I wear my Justin casuals, put my boots on my backpack that Hooey makes and roll.”
Know Your Route
Know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there and plan your stops. Lucia says if you’re hauling horses, pre-plan how far you’re going to drive before you stop each day.
“Get on Facebook, figure out good places to unload horses,” Lucia says.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
No matter where you are, Lucia advises paying attention when you walk into a building — look at who and what is around you.
“Stay in well-lit areas if it’s after dark,” Lucia says. “It’s not necessarily dangerous, but you need to pay attention.”
If you’re hauling a trailer, make sure you can get in and out of gas stations or stops before pulling in.
Bring Your Own Water
If you’re traveling with horses, Lucia recommends carrying your own water so it’s always on hand.
“You can at least start the trip with your water in a water tank or a water dispenser,” Lucia says. “Make sure to load up your horses with electrolytes a couple of days before you go on a big trip to get them drinking, and offer them water every single time you stop.”