Saturday, October 12, 2013

Team Sorting

A couple of evenings ago, Pam and I went to see her friend Kim ride in a team sorting event.  Now, I'm not a horse person, so please forgive me if I make any gaffes here, but this is how it seems to work.

There are ten little cows that are numbered one to ten.  The idea is for a team of two to push them  out through a gate in numerical order after drawing a number from a hat, which is the number to start with.  One person guards the goal to keep other calves from getting out when they're not supposed too, while the other separates the properly numbered calf from the  little  herd and runs it to the goal.  If a calf gets by the goalie out of order, your turn ends and you get credit for the number of calves that got through in the proper order.  This is also a timed event.  I'm not sure if the time is used to break ties, or if  there's some complex formula of number of calves factored in with the time.  I suspect the  former.

The other participants wait patiently on the sidelines for their turn, shouting encouragement or friendly banter to the others.  At the end of each round, everyone rounds the calves up and herds them back into the holding area for the next team.

I shot all these photographs without a flash.  I didn't want to spook the horses or the calves.  I  used a high ISO setting for most of these to get them close to the proper exposure, but they're a bit grainy as the result.

Pam thinks she might bring Jeremiah next week to see what he thinks of all this.

This horse was a spectator, watching to see how it's done.

Some of the horses here came from out west and were branded.

Kim, on the white horse, guards the goal while Danny culls the herd.

Other participants on the sidelines.

After Danny runs a calf through the goal, the team members swap roles.  Danny guards the gate while Kim separates the next calf.

And then the calves get rounded up back into the holding area.

Pretty horse.

It was nice to see our congressman attend the event.

Check out the muscles on this horse.


It was great fun watching each horse and rider function as a unit, displaying some surprising agility for such a large animal in a confined space.

I think I'll stick to photography.

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