NIcho Meredith: The Multilingual Announcer

 
Sun, 08/09/1998 - 23:00
97_aspen_meredith_0_01
Nicho Meredith at the 1997 Aspen Horse Trials
Photo © Mary Phelps
1998 North American Young Riders Championships

Whatever the show, whatever the conditions, announcer Nicho Meredith guides competitors, officials, and spectators in voice. His English accent floats out of the loudspeakers and ensures the correct course of the show. He provides information on the accomplishments of the riders and the origins of the horses. For eleven years he has been an official announcer for several national and international driving, combined training and dressage events. In 1992 he founded his own company, Total Event Services. Besides his unstoppable and enthusiastic character, Nicho Meredith is blessed with another gift; he's a polyglot, able to speak in multiple languages.

At age 15, Meredith left school to go to Switzerland where he initiated the "first phase" in the study of thirteen languages by learning French. After that he traveled to Florence where he learned Italian, then moved on to Spain and Germany. The final "language phase" was completed at the University of Salzburg where he got acquainted with Russian and Portuguese. He entered the British Army, joined the cavalry, and afterwards worked in a family business. Nicho Meredith started announcing at horse shows at age 18. It was after the European Three-Day Event Championships in Burghley that he was offered a job in the United States.

His new job gave him the opportunity to travel across the States and to meet new people. In spite of what seems to be endless days of non stop travel, Nicho Meredith loves being an announcer: "Everyone on earth has some gift and I feel lucky to have the gift of being an announcer." Nicho said. "You have to have a certain mentality because the work can be pretty stressful and announcing is definitely not a nine-to-five job." He went on to explain that announcing is only part of his work: "The announcer holds the show together and I'm often challenged," he said. "Many dressage shows are managed by a team of volunteers, and I am able to help them keep things on track." One of my favorite dressage shows is Steve and Kaylene Brown's Fox Ridge Farm Dressage Shows in Washington State."

Announcing is only part of the duties performed by Meredith when he contracted to do a show. An expert at installing sound systems, he has the equipment and know how needed to set up a system where none is in place, or expand and sometimes fix what is already there. He also supplies the walkie-talkies for officials and ring stewards, and performs as the comptroller of the show. Whether it is a five ring dressage show, a combined driving event with three teams of horses on course, a three day event with over 30 jump judges and officials, or a steeplechase with a large field of horses, it's Nicho Meredith who helps keep things moving. In addition if one rider on course is of a French nationality, while the other is German, and yet another Spanish, Dutch, or Russian, Meredith is able to flow easily from one language to the other, announcing competitors in their native tongues.

When I asked Nicho if he ever mixes up his thirteen languages, he replied: "Although English is my native language, I mostly think in French and German, and I dream in Russian!"

Nicho Meredith resides in Florida with his wife Melissa (Speed) Meredith well known dressage show secretary, where they have a lovely lake front home, which they do not get to enjoy very much. Booked a year in advance for some of the country's major equestrian events, they enjoy the opportunities they get to work together, although it is more often the case they must travel in opposite directions.

As he sits in the tower, looking over the vast show-grounds, with binoculars in hand, and his laptop with masses of data at his fingertips, he is often lonely, tired, with chaos ensuing around him. The spectators and competitors never know, as he smoothly translates the confusion into order. In spite of everything, the show must go on, and Nicho Meredith assures that it does, in style. 

view counter

view counter

view counter

view counter

view counter