Tribune-Courier features editor
“It’s a family sport” Dean and Sharron York explained. The husband-wife team have been participating in Team Penning and Ranch Sorting events for more than 20 years and recently traveled to Amarillo, Texas for the national Adequan Select World show presented by the American Quarter Horse Association. During the competition the couple joined up with Barbara Stevens from Fountain Town, Ind. and together, placed third in Team Penning.
According to AQHA, Team Penning is “a timed event based on original cowboy tasks.” A team of three riders must sort three specific cattle from the herd and then pen them at the other end of the arena.
“It’s ranch work, same thing as normal ranch work, they just made it into a competition.” Sharron said. Ranch sorting is similar to team penning but it is only a two person team and you are working with 10 cattle. AQHA explains it as being “An exciting timed event based on precision.” The team has to sort ten cattle from one pen to another in a numerical sequence. The greatest number of cattle and the fastest time wins.
Dean and Sharron travel all over the midwest participating in these two events to qualifying AQHA shows to earn their spot at the national competition in Texas.
“The first person in needs to be quiet and not disturb the rest of the herd” Dean explained what he believes to be most important thing during the events, “You need to get used to each other, know and communicate with your team”
“You kind of have to have eyes in the back of your head,” Sharron added. “It really is a family sport though. You have to work together.”