For the last 10 years, Joe Rybinski has delivered colour commentary for the Equine Expo with style and resonance.
While most turn down jobs that require public speaking, Joe Rybinski took to the Saskatchewan Equine Expo announcer’s booth like a duck to water, back in 2012. This smooth-talker has more than 40 years of experience in the horse industry under his belt, and it shows when he turns on the mic. A lifetime of participation in showing, speed events, working cow horse, team sorting, team roping, and chuck wagon racing, gives Joe a unique insight into many different disciplines, making him a natural fit for Equine Expo.
“In our inaugural year, the committee was sitting around the table and the topic of announcers came up,” says Leigh Ann Hurlburt, Ag Manager at Prairieland. “Joe’s quite the guy, very professional, very well-spoken and involved in so many different areas – he was perfect for the job.”
It seems that Joe loves his role, too. “I feel very privileged to have been the voice of Equine Expo for the past decade,” he says. “During this time, I have worked with great people on the committee and also the Prairieland people that have the responsibility for this great event.” He says the opportunity has resulted in new friendships and literally given him the best seat in the house. “Equine Expo is the only event in our province that brings people of all disciplines together under one roof, all at the same time, in appreciation for our equine partners.”
Audiences and organizers alike rely on the announcer to keep them informed, entertained and on-pace with the schedule. Sitting behind the microphone is a delicate balance, but one which Joe manages to strike with ease. “We call him ‘The Voice of the Expo’ because he has a genuine love for it,” Hurlburt says. “He establishes a relationship with the trainers, builds camaraderie with judges and includes the audience in his commentary. He’s just a real pleasure to listen to and we’re lucky to have him.”
Rybinski feels a responsibility to make the folks in the arena feel like rock stars and he encourages the crowd to show their enthusiasm and appreciation for the contributions that each rider makes. “I appreciate the dialogue I have with the trainers over the sound system. I ask thought-provoking questions or have them explain their strategy and techniques,” he says. “All in order to assist in the learning experience for the audience.”
“It’s also my job to assure that scheduled events start and end on time in order to respect everyone’s time in the arena,” claims Rybinski. By giving verbal advance notice of how long before an event is finished, riders and clinicians can to wind up to meet the schedule. He also reminds the audience throughout the day of other events they may choose from to take part in. “It’s a good technique to remind people what a great investment they made with their hard-earned money to attend Equine Expo,” he says.
Joe Rybinski is a retired health care executive and dance band entertainer who lives with his wife on their farm outside of Prince Albert. They spend their summers racing chuck wagons and their winters in Arizona competing in team roping and team sorting