Team Sorting

Team Sorting Demonstrations

Friday at 11AM and 3PM

Saturday at 11AM

Team sorting is a western-style equestrian sport that evolved from the common ranch work of separating cattle into pens for branding, doctoring, or transport. Sorting is an event that pits a team of two riders on horseback against the clock. Teamwork is the key with both riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen while keeping the wrong numbered cattle back. There are several variations of ranch sorting with one, two or three riders on the team, but all require sorting the cattle from one pen to the other in the correct order. Teamwork is the key to success.

Alex Morrison and B&M Sorting will give demonstrations of this sport at 11AM and 3PM on Friday, June 7; and again at 11AM on Saturday, June 8. Events will take place in the pens located at Curry and St. Louis Sts. There is ample space on the bleachers for viewing.

While the sport evolved from work-related tasks, today competitions feature a fast-paced event that gives a team of three riders on horseback from 60 to 90 seconds to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and put them into a 16′ x 24′ pen through a 10′ opening, at the opposite end of the arena.

Cutting dates back to a time when ranchers in the American West hired cowboys to work herds of cattle out on the open range. Certain horses specialized in sorting and separating individual cattle from the herd when needed. Cutting moved from the open range to modern arena competition, often held indoors. Some sanctioned events at the national and international level offer added million dollar purses.

Cutting horse competition is primarily governed by the rules and regulations established by the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) located in Fort Worth, Texas, with affiliates in Australia and Europe. Other events may be governed by different sets of rules, such as those of the American Cutting Horse Association, or limited to a single horse breed and sanctioned by a breed association. The NCHA may approve independent events upon request, provided the classes offered meet the qualifications and adhere to the rules established by the NCHA.

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