Rodeo announcer Ricky Bindseil keeps the action moving but makes sure the attention stays focused on the stars of the sport: the cowboys and cowgirls. You can hear him July 15-16 at the 2022 Marble Falls Rodeo. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton
Marble Falls resident and Spicewood native Ricky Bindseil is the voice of rodeo in the Lone Star State, announcing more than 20 rodeos a year across Texas. He called the Burnet County Rodeo in May and will be behind the microphone at the 2022 Marble Falls Open/Pro Rodeo on Friday-Saturday, July 15-16.
He also calls larger rodeos but is a strong advocate for the smaller events.
“The big rodeos are great, but one of the things I love about the local ones, like Burnet County, is how close the crowd is to the action,” he said. “In the bigger rodeos, like San Antonio, Fort Worth, and Austin, you might be a hundred feet from the action, but in one like Burnet or Marble Falls, the fans, you know, they may be 10 feet from it. It’s great.”
Bindseil learned the rodeo ropes in the arena. In high school and college, he competed in calf roping before taking up team roping. With his days in the saddle behind him, Bindseil continues his dedication to the sport in the announcer’s booth
If you had asked him back when he was competing if he ever saw himself announcing, he would have said no way. The opportunity came through a friend of his wife, Missy Bindseil, the Precinct 4 constable in Burnet County. Her friend held rodeo announcer seminars during the Fort Worth rodeo each year.
“At first, I was, ‘Absolutely not,’” he said. “There was no way this shy guy from Marble Falls is going to do that. But I attended the seminar, and I just loved it.”
For the past 12 years, Bindseil has traveled the rodeo trail across the state. So far this year, he’s announced rodeos in George West, Fort Stockton, Crane, Salado, and, of course, Burnet, among others.
Along with keeping things moving in the arena, Bindseil shares facts and information about the competitors and the stock.
“I like to let the crowd know something about a cowboy or cowgirl, how they did at the last rodeo, things like that,” he said. “I try to educate (the crowd) about the rides and what judges look for. With the animals, especially the bulls and the rough stock (bareback and bronc riding horses), you know they are athletes as well. So I talk about the animals and kind of explain what their part is in the event.”
The announcer has a big role in making every rodeo a successful event, but, Bindseil said, it’s important to know your place.
“Obviously, you do your best to entertain the crowd, but I never take the spotlight from the cowboys and cowgirls,” he said. “They are the real stars of the show. I keep things flowing.”
Much of the fun in announcing community rodeos comes from the sense of family among the competitors, stock contractors, entertainment acts, bullfighters, organizers, and the other folks behind the scenes.
“If someone gets a flat tire on the highway to a rodeo, and another person heading to it sees them, they pull over and help,” Bindseil said. “If someone needs a rope, and someone else has one they can use, it’s, ‘Hey, use mine.’ You may see a person at every rodeo and see another maybe once or twice during the summer at a rodeo, but you’re like family and just pick up where you left off last time.”
Local rodeos don’t lack for talent, either. Cowboys and cowgirls from the bigger events also compete in the smaller arenas.
“With the local and smaller rodeos, you see the future superstars that you’ll see some day in the big rodeos,” he added.
Bindseil is proud to be part of the show, even if it’s just lending his voice to the action.
From 8 p.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday, July 15-16, the Charley Taylor Rodeo Arena will be filled to the brim with spectators for the annual Marble Falls Open/Pro Rodeo brought by Cadillac Rodeo with Johnny Hoyle. The arena is located at 3053 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls.
Gates open each night at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate for $15 for ages 13 and older and $5 for ages 6-12. Admission is free for ages 5 and younger. Admission price covers each night’s concert and dance, which are BYOB.
Wear pink on Friday for Pink Out Night to promote breast cancer awareness. Country artist William Beckmann performs for the dance immediately following the end of bullriding.
The Adam Fears Band plays Saturday night.
The Marble Falls rodeo always happens on the third weekend in July and includes a youth rodeo (July 13), slack (July 14), and two live performances. Slack competitions happen before the beginning of the official rodeo and include excess entries.