This year I get a bonus. My Aunt's new boyfriend competes in penning/cutting. This means is that the horse and rider work together to pick particular calves out of a herd and put them somewhere else. Sometimes it's into a pen, sometimes it's from one pen to another, etc.
On Saturday the task for the riders was to cut 3 calves of a certain number out of the herd and then drive them down to the other end of the arena and into a pen. Their particular number was announced when the timer was started. There were a number of teams who did this in less than 40 seconds. Later in the year, I'm told, the times get so fast that you'll have to do it in 30 seconds just to place. Amazing.
Notice the orange line - it is important that a cow of the wrong number does not cross that line, or you get a "no time" for your run. Three riders make a team, so often one person would break up the herd and go for a cow of their number while the other two hold back the herd and start looking for the next cow.
I didn't get any video from Saturday, but the configuration of the arena made it a great opportunity for photos. I got lots I like.
|Bringing them down to the pen, just to left of this picture.|
|Bringing them down to the pen|
|Father and Son, eying up the herd|
|Putting them in the pen. Notice how one person blocks each side while the third pushes them from behind.|
Then, on the second day the sorting was a little different. This time, there were two round pens set up and joined at the middle. The job of the riders was to cut out the numbered cows one by one, in order, in 1 minute. The announcer gave you the number to start with. If a cow of the wrong number gets through to the other side, you get a "no time". There were a handful of 10 head sorts for the day. Here, check out the diagram:
This little girl got a couple runs at the end of the day. She did a great job! On her last run she did so well she placed second in her class competing against all the adults.
|Mendel thinks he should get a turn|