WEATHERFORD, Texas – Being the son of a rodeo personality, most things about the sport came naturally for Anthony Lucia.
But he wasn’t afraid to work at it, either. That’s why, as a trick roper, he was asked to perform at the National Finals Rodeo, the sport’s grand championship. He did it four straight years, from 2010-13, all while developing his skills as one of the young announcers in the game.
“Announcing gives me the opportunity to be the voice of the contestants and to captivate an audience,” said Lucia, who will announce the RAM First Frontier Circuit Finals, set for Jan. 10-13 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa. “Entertaining is in my blood, and I want to make sure the fans have the very best time.
“Being a contestant myself, knowing what they go through, gives me an insight into what they feel whenever they win or when they don’t.”
He is the son of Tommy Lucia, a decorated rodeo entertainer who was a contestant, rodeo clown and specialty act. For three straight years (2003-2005), the elder Lucia was the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Specialty Act of the Year; he worked the NFR as both barrelman and specialty act, and in 2015, just a few months before his death, was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
Anthony Lucia is continuing that rodeo legacy in more ways than one. By working the regional finale in the Northeast, it serves as proof that his labor of love is working pretty well.
“Seven years into my announcing career, to get to announce one of 12 circuit finals was an emotional moment for me,” he said. “My dad always encouraged me to announce, and I never got a chance to tell him that I got the finals.
“Even though I didn’t get to tell him, I know that he knows. He never doubted my announcing ability.”
Lucia announces several rodeos throughout the year, including two of the most prestigious events in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association: the Grand National Rodeo in San Francisco and the Days of ’47 Rodeo in Salt Lake City. No matter the size, though, he takes the same approach to his tasks.
He will put in countless hours of homework and study as he prepares for the First Frontier finale.
In fact, he may work harder to call the action for the First Frontier finale than many of the others.
“For the contestants that compete in the Northeast United States, the First Frontier Circuit Finals Rodeo is the NFR to them,” said Lucia, who credits some of his success to the sponsors that support him: CINCH, Justin Boots, Classic Ropes, Kerry Kelley Bits and Spurs, Resistol, Smarty Roping and Brazos Valley Equine Hospital. “I want to work hard and do my job so the contestants are given the due they deserve.”
“What matters more is those contestants qualified, and they all have the opportunity to make their way to Kissimmee (Fla.) to compete at the National Circuit Finals Rodeo.”
Only the top 12 contestants on the money list in each event advance to the regional finale. The year-end and circuit finals average winners advance to Florida to compete for the national championship. Each step along the way is a better opportunity to cash in. Each dollar earned at either Harrisburg or Kissimmee counts toward the 2018 world standings, and the cowboys and cowgirls will have the opportunity to chase their qualifications to the NFR.
Lucia has seen it at all levels, and he enjoys being more than a fan. He began his rodeo regime following his father to events.
“My dad told me, ‘Be the best Anthony Lucia you can be,’ ” he said. “When I started to realize that, the announcing became fun.
“I love rodeo as a whole, and rodeo makes my heart happy. I think a lot of it has to do with the people in it. It represents true Americana. Rodeo represents the way our nation was founded, through true grit, determination and try, never giving up no matter how the odds seem.”
Lucia utilizes social me to stay in touch with rodeo, its contestants and its fans. He is active through is Instagram account – @SuperLucia33 – and has big goals. Of course, nobody that knows him would expect anything different.
“My ultimate goal is to do God’s will,” Lucia said. “If I can’t leave a lasting mark and build His kingdom through my actions and through my words, inspiring people, then everything I do is for not. I feel like God has given me the tasks of no matter what I’m doing, I’m going to be the best.”
He’s well on his way.