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WT: Why is music important to a horse show? MH: Music plays a big role at horse shows, for various


reasons. The right music at the right time and at the right


volume helps a horse to feel more at home in a big arena and so it does not get distracted by the surrounding sounds—spectators, catering, etc. A consistent sound- scape helps especially nervous horses to do a better, more focused job. Also, lovely music that fits the situation makes it more enjoyable and entertaining for the spectators.


WT: Do you provide music for other horse disci- plines? Jumpers? If so, is it different than what we heard at the WEG? MH: I also do jumping competitions. This is funda-


mentally different from dressage. Show jumpers are usually less sensitive to external influences. This means that music with vocals and a bit more beat does not bother them as much. Jingles after clear rounds are customary at big competitions. But I still think that the right volume matters here as well.


WT: Are you a horse person? MH: No, I pretty much switched vocations. I used to


want to be a professional soccer player. My family has nothing to do with equestrian sports.


WT: What is your music background? MH: I play guitar, and I used to be a DJ at smaller and bigger events for a few years. Then I met a riding girl. My business partner, with whom I produce a lot


of freestyles, has a big music studio, though, and he can play a lot of instruments.


WT: Will we hear your music in Tokyo next year? MH: That is of course the next big goal after the Rio Olympics and the WEG in Tryon. I think the Olympic Committee and the FEI have been pretty satisfied with my work so far. There definitely is a chance that you may hear me in Tokyo.


The Voice of Authority


This distinguished – and easily distinguishable – announcer graces many major competitions.


“G


od gave me the voice and I’m making bloody well sure I’m using it.” That unmistakable, one of a kind, bold, booming and British voice is well known at


the U.S’s finest dressage shows and is easily recognized as belonging to announcer Nicho Meredith. When Nicho announces your name


and that of your horse at a show, you feel elevated to the level of the top riders, as if someone thinks you’re a big deal just because of his melodious voice and charm- ing British accent. It’s the same voice that has been heard over the airwaves at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, at the major CDIs in California and at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Now in his fifty-second year announc- ing horse shows, from dressage to stee- plechase, combined driving to breed shows to event- ing, he is not only spot on in pronouncing the names of horses, riders and their hometowns, no matter which country of origin, but he will even say them in the


24 March/April 2019


native accent of the rider, a talent he maintains from his fluency in six languages (adding Swedish to the list shortly) and the ability to announce in another nine.


Young Nicho “The ability relates to how a part of your brain works. I am good musically and I was a math scholar at school. They all relate to one part of the brain. Once you connect to the logic of a language, it slips into place,” says Nicho, a native of Great Brit- ain who was adopted at just ten days old. His breakthrough love of languages came about when he was a teen and an exchange student living in France. He went on to school in Europe for five years, learning languages and completing his schooling at the University of Salzburg in Austria. Nicho is a rider himself who started at


age four on a pony named Peter and fox hunted with his father, the field master of the Cottlesmore Hunt. He continued his riding education in England’s Pony Club, an


organization he confesses he joined to meet girls. It was at this time that he fell in love with horses and


often quotes his father when referring to horsemanship. “My father, the greatest horseman I’ve ever known, always


Above: Nicho Meridith enjoys his Premier Equestrian award from February 2018 at the Global Dressage Forum.


JRPR


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