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On The Rail

092. Behind the Mic with Peter Cannizzaro

AQHA Executive Director Lori Bucholz

In the intricate dance of horse shows, where the power and grace of horses meet the competitive spirit of their riders, there's a voice that guides, informs, and entertains—a voice that, more often than not, goes unnoticed in the thrill of the competition. That voice belongs to the announcer, a key figure in horse shows, whose role transcends merely calling out names and results. Among these voices, Pete Canizzaro stands out as a seasoned announcer whose passion for his craft brings a unique energy and professionalism to each event.

The Art of Announcing

Pete offers a rare behind-the-scenes look into the multifaceted job of a horse show announcer—a role that he describes as simultaneously exhilarating and challenging. His journey in the announcing world began by chance, stepping in to help a friend, which ignited a career spanning over 33 years. Since then, Pete has become the voice of major equestrian events across the US, known for his distinctive style and unwavering dedication to the sport.

A Day in the Life

The life of an announcer involves much more than being behind the mic. Pete shares insights into his meticulous preparation for each show, his effort to personally ensure accuracy in names and terminology, and his dedication to engaging with the audience through music and announcements.

His ability to multitask is imperative, handling everything from coordinating with show officials to managing spontaneous announcements, all while maintaining a seamless flow of the show.

One of Pete’s cherished aspects of announcing is the opportunity to honor and recognize the achievements and contributions of individuals within the equestrian community, whether it be celebrating winners at the youth world shows or paying tribute to veterans during special events. These moments, he notes, are not just emotional for the audience but deeply moving for him as well.

Challenges and Triumphs

Announcing comes with its set of challenges, from handling unforeseen technical difficulties to ensuring the safety and well-being of participants during the events. Pete’s calm and professional approach in these situations underscores the importance of an announcer’s role in the overall experience of a horse show. His philosophy of positivity, preparation, and politeness has not only made him a respected figure in the industry but also a beloved voice to listeners.

Beyond the Announcer's Booth

When not behind the mic, Pete indulges in his love for cooking, particularly smoking briskets, and enjoys being a connoisseur of bourbons. His aspiration to venture into audio-book narration speaks to his passion for storytelling and his desire to explore new avenues.

Advice for Aspiring Announcers

For those looking to step into the world of announcing, Pete emphasizes the significance of preparation, politeness, and a genuine passion for the role. Volunteering at smaller shows, he suggests, can provide invaluable experience and exposure.

The Unsung Hero

Pete Canizzaro’s journey as a horse show announcer illustrates the profound impact a dedicated individual can have on the experience of equestrian competitions. His voice, resonating with enthusiasm and respect for the sport, exemplifies the heart and soul behind every announcement. In the grand tapestry of horse shows, the announcer's role is indeed central—narrating the triumphs, the moments of anticipation, and the sheer beauty of equestrian sports.

As we relish the excitement and beauty of equestrian events, let us also appreciate the voices like Pete's that enrich the experience, reminding us of the passion and dedication that lie behind the scenes.



Amateur Arena Magazine

It's never too late to grab life by the reins and ride into your best days ahead of you.

At Ride Fit Life, Jenna specializes in working with individuals across all facets of the equestrian world - be it amateurs or seasoned professionals, trainers, weekend enthusiasts, or devoted hobbyists. With a deep understanding of the diverse landscape of horsemanship, Jenna is equipped to address the distinct challenges you encounter.



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