Rooftop Rodeo announcer brings a distinct flavor to his work in Estes Park
ESTES PARK, Colo. – Like every young cowboy with gold-buckle dreams, Andy Seiler spent much of his youth swinging a rope.
His family took notice. So did others.
“My grandfather told me a long time when I had a rope in my hand that the rope was going to put me on TV one day,” said Seiler, who will return to the Rocky Mountains to call the action at Rooftop Rodeo, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6-Monday, July 11, at Granny May Arena in Estes Park inside the Estes Park Fairgrounds.
His grandfather was right, just not the way Seiler had envisioned. His dream was to be one of the best cowboys in the game, a top-tier roper competing on the biggest stages of rodeo. Instead, he’s one of the elite announcers in ProRodeo and has been featured on national telecasts of RodeoHouston and the National Finals Rodeo.
His voice has also been highlighted on worldwide coverage of Rooftop Rodeo through The Cowboy Channel, so he has definitely utilized that young-man’s rope to be at the epicenter of the sport he loves.
“My dad team roped, primarily in the circuit, and my mom competed in high school rodeo,” said Seiler, who lives in Ocala, Florida with his wife, Lauren; son, Welles; and daughter, Rory. “My mom’s family had a cow-calf operation, and she grew up on a chicken farm. My dad didn’t get into rodeo until he tried to ride some bulls in high school. When he started dating my mom, he started roping a little bit.”
That’s how this rodeo bug started for Seiler. In 2004, he won the National High School Finals Rodeo championship, then took his competitive streak to Troy (Alabama) University, where he was a three-time qualifier to the College National Finals Rodeo. He may have made it a fourth year, but he turned his attention to announcing instead.
“In 2008, I did a really terrible job, and my coach told me to ask if I could announce with Boyd (Polhamus, a senior statesman among announcers),” he said. “That would be my first professional performance. I announced Thursday and Friday nights, then they said I did a good enough job to do the short round.
“The next weekend, I was in Glenwood City, Wisconsin, announcing that rodeo.”
In the fantasy world, he would love to say he never looked back; fantasies aren’t real. Life happens. After three years announcing rodeos and living his dream, Seiler hung up his microphone and went back to Ocala and found work that helped him pay the bills.
“Then Boyd called me in 2013 and told me that they were looking for a third announcer in Houston,” said Seiler, who was selected as one of three announcers at the 2020 National Finals Rodeo. “That’s what got me back into it. I started Houston in 2014. That’s been one of those things that I think God puts in there for you. It’s your responsibility that even if this doesn’t make sense, I needed to follow His path.
“It’s led to a lot of other things along the way.”
That includes his association with Rooftop Rodeo, and the relationship continues to blossom year after year.
“We appreciate what Andy Seiler brings to our rodeo,” said Mark Purdy, chairman of Estes Park Western Heritage Inc., a group of volunteers that works with the town of Estes Park to produce the annual rodeo. “When we changed stock contractors to Cervi Championship Rodeo in 2014, Binion (Cervi) told us he knew an up-and-coming announcer that would be a good fit for the Rooftop; as usual, he was right.
“From the first year he worked our rodeo, we knew Andy would be a great fit. The way he addresses our crowd is amazing and helps make each night a great one for the people that come. He makes it special for each of them, and that, in turn, makes it special for us.”
The people in Estes Park return the favor. Rooftop Rodeo is such an exceptional experience that Seiler flies his wife and children in to be part of it. It’s one of two rodeos they go to each year, with the other being a few days in Houston in March.
“Rooftop Rodeo will always have a special place in my heart,” Seiler said. “They had made a change, and it was very different for them to do, but they were very endearing to me from the start.
“They have always been like family to me. They don’t call people who come to the rodeo fans; they call them guests. It’s an event that people circle on their calendars. If you’re on vacation and looking for a home away from home, then Estes Park is an excellent place to be in July.”