Fast cattle and faster horses…..that’s the name of the game in Ranch Sorting, a sophisticated form of team penning that is a popular new family style of riding. Saturday morning I visited the B Bar J Equestrian Centre near Lone Mountain and Tenaya. I watched horse and rider work fast to sort numbered cattle from one pen to another in numerical order. And when I say fast, it’s no joke. Two riders have sixty seconds to sort ten cattle in the correct order, with no strays jumping ahead in line. Impressive handling and savvy horses made it look easy, but I’m sure it’s a challenging ride.
Gail Powers, a Las Vegas native, has been operating the B Bar J at this same location for over thirty years. In September 2009, she began the Cattle Company and just completed her first full year of holding sanctioned sorting events, including the State Championships in December. Events are held monthly, with a special interest event this coming May in conjunction with the Helldorado Days Celebration. Classes will be offered to accommodate all rider abilities on the Wednesday and Thursday prior (May 11-12), with the top ten from the Open class to ride Thursday night before the big Rodeo begins.
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