(Editor’s note: PRCA media release, contribution from the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register)
COLORADO SPRINGS – Chad Nicholson, a PRCA announcer since 1993, passed away Friday, May 17, in the mountains in Woodlake, Calif., in a vehicle accident. He was 50. Nicholson is survived by his wife, Jennifer Welch Nicholson, who has a PRCA specialty act, the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls.
According to the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register:
“Nicholson was killed in a late-night 4-wheeling accident off Highway 245 in the foothills of Tulare County.
Cal Fire, California Highway Patrol and Tulare County deputies responded to the scene located about 20 miles above the Woodlake Lions Rodeo, which Nicholson had attended just days ago as a spectator, according to a Mother’s Day tweet.
A tow rope snapped, sending a vehicle plunging 30-40 feet down a ravine in the mountainous terrain, according to a CHP report.
It’s unclear if Nicholson was inside the vehicle when it rolled off the cliff about 4 miles off the 245, on private land.
Recent rains may have played a role in the accident.
Nicholson and a group of friends were visiting a cabin in the area for a yearly get-together, a man familiar with Nicholson said.”
Nicholson announced at PRCA rodeos all over the country, including the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo in 2002; RAM Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo (2005, 2014-15); RAM Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo (2001, 2005); RAM California Circuit Finals Rodeo (1998-99, 2002, 2006, 2008); RAM Turquoise Circuit Finals Rodeo (1996); Black Hills Roundup (Belle Fourche, S.D., 2001-15); Rooftop PRCA Rodeo (Estes Park, Colo., 2000-14); and the Oakdale (Calif.) Saddle Club Rodeo (2003-10).
Nicholson, who worked 100-plus performances a year, was also the emcee for the 2015 ProRodeo Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo., and was emcee at the 2018 PRCA Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.
Outside of professional rodeo, Nicholson voiced over radio/TV commercials and various projects worldwide. He is the voice of the talking dog and liner voice on the FarmersOnly.com TV commercial “riding date” and “fishing date” spots, which still air. He also announced at monster truck shows. In 2012, he was part of the production crew for the United States’ portion of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th Diamond Jubilee Celebration, All the Queen’s Horses, at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, with the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls.
Nicholson also trained the next generation of rodeo announcers. In 2005, at the urging of friend ProRodeo Hall of Fame announcer Bob Tallman, Nicholson founded the Chad Nicholson Rodeo Announcer’s Training Seminar, held annually in Fort Worth, Texas.