DUNCAN, Okla. – For Scott Grover, it all comes down to the competition.
Grover is the arena announcer for the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo, and he’s excited for the start of the three-day championship, set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17-Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Stephens County Fair and Expo Center in Duncan.
“I’ve always said the Prairie Circuit Finals performances are as good as any major rodeo in the country,” said Grover, who will call the action at the circuit finale for the sixth time in his career. “We’ve got NFR qualifiers, world champions, but then we’ve also got those guys that are strictly circuit cowboys. They have jobs, and they spend their weekends on the road.
“I think they’re just as good and just as capable of winning any time; they just choose to work and stay closer to home instead of traveling hard and fighting for the National Finals.”
In fact, that’s why the circuit system was developed nearly four decades ago, to provide a regional championship for those who are considered “weekend warriors.” Cowboys and cowgirls battle all season long, competing at rodeos all across the Oklahoma-Kansas-Nebraska region with Destination Duncan on their minds – only the top 12 on the money list in each event at the conclusion of the circuit’s regular season earn the right to compete inside the expo center.
“I keep record of all the circuit rodeos from the first one of the year, which is Tulsa in October, to the very end the next September,” said Grover, who grew up in northern Kansas and attended Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Neb., and Kansas State University. “I know who placed at those rodeos and the stock they placed on. For the committees that are there, their rodeo is going to get talked about at the circuit finals.”
That’s important, but there are many aspects of Grover’s job during the performances that are vital in relaying information to the fans. He also will be part of the mix in making the production of each performance as best it can, working closely with rodeo clown Keith Isley throughout the two-hour show to help fans enjoy every moment.
“Keith is one of the greatest entertainers of all time, and it’s great to work with someone like that; it’s one of the highlights of my career,” Grover said. “I think a good production is the most important thing we can do. There’s so much more than having a rodeo; it’s got to be so much more nowadays, because we want fans to get every bit of entertainment for their dollar.”
Knowing the entertainment value of rodeo, particularly a championship like the Chisholm Trail Ram Prairie Circuit Finals, is just one reason Grover is excited to be part of the festivities.
“Being selected to announce the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo is one of the goals I made when I started,” he said. “I take a lot of pride in our circuit. It’s the circuit I grew up in, and I work a lot of circuit rodeos. I get to see these guys compete, and I enjoy being able to tell their stories at a championship event.”
Circuit titles are goals of every contestant in the field. Not only is the circuit finals’ crown on the line – the contestant in each event with the fastest cumulative time on three runs or the best cumulative score on three rides will earn the average title – but also cowboys and cowgirls will battle for the year-end championships.
“Those are the parts of the championship that make the competition so great,” Grover said. “The contestants are going to put it all on the line for those three days. It’s definitely exciting.”
Prairie Circuit Finals announcer provides grand experience to his role in Duncan