Southern Kentucky Team Penning Association hosts show

Southern Kentucky Team Penning Association President-Elect Greg Gassaway competes in the Team Penning and Ranch Sorting show on Feb. 4, 2017 at the WKU L.D Brown Agriculture Exposition Center in Bowling Green. “I like the competitiveness that comes with this sport,” said Gassaway, who is in his second year of office for the SKTPA.

Skyler Ballard

A layer of dust followed by the echo of a buzzer filled the arena of the L.D. Brown Ag Expo Center on Saturday as contestants halted their horses, watching the dust settle again as they listened for results over the loudspeaker.

The Southern Kentucky Team Penning Association hosted their monthly show on Feb. 4. The show featured six different events for all age groups, ranging from Team Penning to Ranch Sorting.

The SKTPA has been hosting shows at the Expo Center every month since 1993. The event offers practice to members in the area who are looking to compete at higher levels, such as regional and national competitions.

“This kind of show is one that helps us and our horses stay in tune,” said SKTPA Secretary Dee Daniels. “It gives us practice at a reasonable price and helps our horses stay active.”

Team Penning began as a sport for ranchers to compete against one another in ranch-like work such as horsemanship, cutting, speed, agility and teamwork. The goal is to separate three specified cattle away from a small herd in 60 to 90 seconds. Riders work with one or two other partners to attempt to drive the three cows into a separate pen while keeping the rest of the herd back.

“Teamwork is absolutely the number one thing you have to have in this sport,” Daniels, who helped to run the show and also competed, said. “Once you have the teamwork, it’s a combination of cutting and speed.”

Daniels took first place in Buckle 2 Man Ranch Sorting category with her partner Jerime Crecelius as well as first in Open Team Penning along with James Keith and Andy Schultz. First place in the Buckle Team Penning class went to Allan Kingrey, Micahel Bale and Robert Franks.

The show offered events for all ages, including a “peanut” category for riders 12 years old and under. Harper Farris, 6, of Glasgow, took home first in the Peanut 2 Man Ranch sorting category along with her partner, Kristie Gassaway. Harper’s father, Danny Farris, provided the cattle for the event as well as competed.

Though many members participate in the competition as practice, according to SKTPA President-elect Greg Gassaway, it’s the atmosphere that keeps them coming back every month.

“The best part about these is that we all get to see what we call our ‘horse show friends,’” Gassaway said. “This is the only time most of us get to see each other.”

Gassaway took first place in the Open 2 Man Ranch Sorting class with his partner, Michael Bale.

In penning, it’s common for competitors to ride multiple times in the same events with different partners. For Saturday’s show, riders were allowed anywhere from two to six rides in each event.

According to Daniels, Team Penning is the largest equine family sport alive today. “This event gives you the chance to compete with different people,” Daniels said. “So I’ve gotten to compete with most of my friends here today.”

Reporter Skyler Ballard can be reached at 270-745-6288 and [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @skyler.ballard.