Phillip Pierceall: The Story Behind a Horse Show Announcers Microphone 

After 35 years in the horse industry, pulling experience from positions like managing and announcing at some of the largest horse shows in the country, Phillip Pierceall has some stories to tell. 

But despite his big success, Phillip started life in a small town. 

“It was the kind of small town where everyone knew what you’re doing before you did,” says Pierceall. “My parents divorced when I was a toddler, and I went to live with my father and step-mother. My father passed away when I was young, so it was my step-mother who really raised me. My mother ended up remarrying a well-known saddle maker and an all-around great man, Dale Chavez. Dale taught me about business, how to rope, to ride, and is still one of my mentors.”

Pierceall got into the auction business because of his best friend’s family, who owned and operated a livestock market, after he graduated from the University of Indiana’s Certified Auctioneers Institute. From there, he learned the ins and outs of what it takes to sit behind the microphone and sell efficiently. He also helped local horse shows as a volunteer. 

“At one show the announcer got sick and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. However, I would like to thank Vic Carmen and Jeff Gilbert who are both friends and mentors— they helped me get started in the hunter and jumper world. Everyone needs a group that makes them better! I have a big group who I call on the most for advice. People like Traci and Carlton Brooks, Don and Nancy Stewart, Hope Glynn, Davin Malmqvist, Ashley Keeler, Amy Brubaker, and Lyn Nelson. I want to thank them for all of the help and advice each of them have given me, or challenged me to be better, to get me where I am today,” says Pieceall. 

Today, Pierceall has his own auction company and does contract work for other auction businesses at horse shows all over the country.

“I’m very grateful to call Desert International Horse Park my winter home—the facility and the horse show family there are the best. I also work at Sonoma Horse Park, Colorado Horse Park, West Palms, HITS, and announce at dressage and reining shows. Every once in a while, I even get to stay home in Texas and work at The Great Southwest Equestrian Center. I’m one of the instructors for the Oklahoma Auction School as well.”

But for Pierceall, the very best part of his job is the people he interacts with at the horse shows.

“I root for everyone to be the best they can be and give their horse an honest ride. As long as the rider can do that, and is looking for ways to better themselves and have fun doing it, that’s a good day! Sitting with a good judge who will tell you their strategy and educate you as to how they see the horse in the ring—that helps me to better myself as an announcer. I absolutely love watching good horses!” says Pierceall. 

Pierceall also gives back to his community any chance he gets. 

“I’m the auctioneer for a lot of non-profit organizations. It’s pretty inspiring to see the good work the non-profits do, and knowing you were a part of a committee or team that made it happen.”  

One story that stands out to Pierceall is during an auction for a private school, where there was a raffle drawing at the end of the live auction for a $100,000 visa card. 

“I pulled the winning ticket out of the hat and the winner was the school janitor. One of the parents bought the ticket for her, and the only reason she was working at the school was to put her son in a private school. She was truly loved by the faculty and parents, so it was a moment of pure joy,” says Pierceall.

Looking towards the future of his career, Pierceall has one goal: bettering the future of the sport. 

“I feel that, for the industry you make your living from, you should be a steward of that industry and find ways to make it better—to be a difference maker. I want to be a part of the future of this sport; whether it be to manage a facility or to sit on a committee. I am very blessed to do what I do, and have people in my life I can count on. Whatever comes next, I will always evaluate the opportunity, but I am never afraid to jump in and put in the work to make it happen.”