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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Voice of show urges fans to relax

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bobby Sands
The familiar voice of Bobby Sands continues to fill the air of the Celebration grounds this year and he has one message for guests of the show:

Forget about the troubles of the world, "get in a Celebration state of mind" and just enjoy yourself.

He should know. Sands got his start announcing horse shows back in 1972 at an event run by Middle Tennessee State University's Block and Bridle Club, and soon found himself in high demand.

His first tenure in the Celebration center ring ran from 1984 until 1998, after which he departed for a time due to the demands of being a state legislator.

But since that time, he's left the state capital and currently works in Columbia as Maury County's General Sessions Judge. However, after a reorganization at the Celebration two years ago, the announcer's slot was open again, and it's a job that Sands happily took back.

But the Celebration isn't the only place where you'll hear Sands, because he spends his time working shows in Tunica, Miss., Panama City, Fla., and in the Tennessee communities of Belfast, Cornersville, Pulaski and Gallatin as well as nearby Wartrace and Lynchburg.

The job of the announcer is to keep things moving smoothly as the show goes on, calling the various gaits and make the audience feel at home. Sands announces the winners of each class, makes the sponsorship announcements and other tasks, making his voice as much of a sound of the Celebration as organist Larry Bright.

Sands said that one thing that is needed is to get in a positive frame of mind for the horse show and "leave all your troubles behind."

"We need to forget about the stock market and some of these things for a few days so we can have a Walking Horse Celebration," Sands said.

Sands said that horse shows are a form of entertainment "that should take us away the problems that we confront day by day."

Seeing old friends, viewing the competition and the pageantry is all a part of the annual event that makes it more like a vacation for some equine enthusiasts, he said.

"Let the horse show give you a break from the news cycle that's on television everyday," Sands advised.

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