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, it was cool when I visited the B Bar J Equestrian Centre near Lone Mountain and Tenaya. But the action was hot as horse and rider worked 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.
If you want to try your hand at Ranch Sorting a bit sooner, or to learn more about it, Gail is holding a professional clinic next Saturday (1/29) with guest trainer Kip Bowler from Gunlock, Utah. The clinic will cover the basics of working with cattle, how they move and react, and how to move your horse around them. Lunch will be provided, and there will be practice following the clinic. The cost is $80 for the day, and space is limited. Contact Gail at (702) 528-1793 or email to [email protected] for more information. All ages can participate in Ranch Sorting, making it a great choice for equestrian families looking for events they can do together. All sorting events for the B Bar J are posted in our Event calendar and everyone is welcome!