“And happening right now, in the demo ring …” There’s a lot to take in at Equine Affaire, with its continuous stream of clinics, seminars and demonstrations. That’s what makes the event’s announcer so important.
Rising above it all is the announcer’s voice, calling attention to the latest attractions and other information of note. As you stroll around using your handy program as a guide, keep an ear tuned for important directions and announcements.
Noah Rattner has recently taken the reins as the “new voice” of Equine Affaire. If his resonant tones sound familiar, it’s hardly surprising. Rattner’s work has taken him across the country and into Canada for two decades. He has announced at the USEF Festival of Champions, Dressage at Devon and other premier competitions.
Horse industry professional
More than an announcer, Rattner is a highly regarded industry professional with a lifetime of volunteer experience at equestrian competitions (he first picked up a microphone at age 7!) and a personal penchant for dressage. Not only is he the general manager of his family’s Devonwood Equestrian Center—a boarding and competition venue in Oregon—but he is also a member of the USEF Dressage Sport Committee. In addition, he’s a USEF Level 4 show manager and secretary, the USDF regional director for Region 6, and a recipient of the Oregon Dressage Society’s Teresa Dunlap Award for his efforts to further that discipline in that state.
The difference between announcing at competitions and announcing at expos was one of the topics Allison Rehnborg discussed with Rattner in Equine Affaire’s May 2022 podcast (to listen to the entire episode, go to Podcast – Equine Affaire). “It’s fun stuff,” he said in the interview. “This is a new foray into kind of uncharted territory for me, outside of the competition ring.”
The many “moving parts” of Equine Affaire
Rattner went on to compare and contrast the rhythmic routine of competitions with the somewhat different vibes of the expos. Although there are similarities, such as crossover between sponsors, vendors, performers and clinicians, every day at Equine Affaire is a new experience for an announcer, he observed. “There’s a lot of moving parts!” he noted. “It’s not the same thing over and over again … my role changes, because I have to listen, and I have to pay attention to what I’m doing!
“And we’re working with horses here … so you never know what’s going to happen,” he continued, mentioning the time sirens from a desensitization demo running concurrently with young horse programming threw him momentarily into emergency response mode. “I like that element of surprise,” he remarked. “Usually it’s in a positive direction, and it keeps me engaged.”
In the end, Rattner said, it’s horses and equestrians that keep him coming back for more—whether it’s his own past experiences with young dressage prospects or the horse-and-rider partnerships he enjoys watching blossom from event to event.
As for Equine Affaire, he told Rehnborg, “These events bring so much to the table, from education to nutrition to animal welfare to all the wonderful vendors … I’m grateful to be part of it, grateful to have the opportunity to share my passion, my little piece of the pie, and be part of the Equine Affaire team.”
Equine Affaire,® is the Nation’s Premier Equine Exposition and Equestrian Gathering. It will be held at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, Massachusetts November 10 – 13. For information on attending, click here.