April 9, 2015
West Huggins was born in the West Texas oil field town of Odessa, October 6, 1980. When the oil business dropped in the early 80’s, West’s parents went back home to Uvalde, Texas to work on the family’s farm and ranch. With a dad, grandfather, and two uncles who were calf ropers, rodeo was a lifestyle from the beginning. West, age 6, began competing in junior rodeos in South Texas.
In 1999, 18 year old West and some other ropers were practicing team roping. It was a cold night, and West decided to warm up in the announcer’s stand at the arena. While others were practicing, West decided to pick up the microphone and start announcing the action for some of his buddies. At this moment, West found a talent that had never emerged before. After the practice session, a gentleman from the local county rodeo asked West to announce the upcoming show.
West began small with AJRA rodeos, Open Bull Rides, and some amateur shows. He announced the AJRA National Finals for 4 years. He then landed 75% of the Southwest Region NIRA College Rodeos which included, Odessa College, West Texas A&M, Vernon College, Howard College, Eastern New Mexico University, and Texas Tech University.
In 2003, West married his wife, Keri, and even spent the Honeymoon at a rodeo. It wasn’t her first choice. 2005 was a big year for West because he picked up 3 additions. He announced his first PBR Event that year and Keri delivered twin boys, Walker and Trevor. In 2006, West became a member of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association. West was very busy at this time, and also began to work many shows with the Flying C Rodeo Company in 2007.
In late 2008, West was surprised by a call he received late one Tuesday night. He was informed that he had been voted as the 2008 UPRA Rodeo Announcer of the Year. West announced the action at the United Professional Rodeo Association National Finals in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Rodeo always will be a family lifestyle for West, who lives in Gardendale, Texas. His wife and twin boys travel to 95% of the rodeos with him. The interesting thing about this is that his son Trevor actually took his first steps in the bleachers at a rodeo.
Over the years West has learned an important quality about the rodeo fans. They like to have fun the entire rodeo, not just during the bull riding. He says that there are two types of people that come to a rodeo. One comes to the rodeo because it’s a rodeo, they love to see people old friends they haven’t seen all year long, and just love the sport. And no matter who is competing, these folks love statistics on each contestant. The others come because someone invited them. They have never been to a rodeo before, and need the loud, “rocking” excitement to make them come back next year. He learned that the new generation of rodeo fans liked up-to-date music, crowd interaction, and learning what each event is. This is where West excels. He has learned to appeal to both crowds, and never leave anyone out. West tells the fans they need a “Wild West Attitude”. If you don’t have one yet, you will by the end of the rodeo.