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Robert Chown gets media award at NRBC

From the Newstrader - May 6th, 2010 - General News

KATY, Texas — Sandwiched between Friday night competitions at the National Reining Breeders Classic April 12-18 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, Robert Chown was acknowledged as the NRBC’s latest media award winner. The Bonsall, Calif., native waved and returned to work as host of the No. 1-rated show on RFD-TV, the Wide World Of Horses.

The budding star of equestrian broadcasting, who is also a 19-time World Champion in stock horse and reining arenas, got his on-camera break not because of his talent, first-hand knowledge and work ethic, but because of timing.

“I didn’t go hunt it — it just kind of came to me,” says Chown, 43, who lives with wife Ginger and daughter Riley, 15, on their Gainesville, Texas, ranch.”There was a bunch of us standing in the stands at a derby in Stephenville maybe four or five years ago. A camera man was there to film, but he knew absolutely nothing. There’s a bunch of us sitting there, and he looks over and asks if somebody would please tell him what’s going on. I look up — and I’m the only son-of-a-gun still standing there. It looked like somebody stirred up the fireant pile, and everyone else was gone. So I was standing there, and –- you know, growing up at Rawhide Ranch and stuff, my dad was always shoving me out there in front of somebody and telling me to say something. I figured, what the heck. I stood there and basically they filmed a run behind me and I was explaining what was going on.”

Chown never watched that clip until a few months ago, but others saw it years ago and hired him.

“Van Williams saw it, and he was producing America’s Horse and some other shows for the NRCHA, and he called me up,” said Chown, who took an NRCHA Derby broadcast assignment because he didn’t have a horse in it. From there, he did a couple AQHA shows, an NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity and World’s Greatest Horseman, then the NRBC four years ago.

“That was the first thing I did for Wide World, and then it kind of just blew up,” he says. “That first year I did one or two events. Next year, three or four events. Next year, I did six or eight — and now we’re on almost every week.”

Chown, who moved from California to Texas in 1988, says his future ideally will involve both broadcasting and training horses.

“Actually I like to train them even more than I like to show them,” he says. “I like to build something. So, feeling the way I do now, I don’t see me ever totally getting out of the training and the competition end of the horse deal. At the same time, if you’re going to be good at the broadcasting deal, it’s requires time, effort, thought and research. It’s work.”

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