Calgary - For brothers Chase (12) and Clay (10) Hunter, cattle penning is a way of life.
The fast-paced event gives a team of three riders on horseback 60 seconds to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and get them into a 20’ x 24’ pen at the opposite end of the arena. Teamwork is the key to success with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen.
The boy’s mom, Shaylene Hunter, is also a cattle penner, their trainer and competed with Chase in the 10 Class Friday afternoon.
“So, there’s three riders on their own horse and the cows each have a number on their back. They call a number and we have to herd only those cows with that number,” explains 12-year-old Chase. “I ran with my mom today, but a wrong numbered cow ran across the imaginary line, so we trashed out (no score).”
Chase’s spirits are still high as he will be competing with 10-year-old brother Clay in the 7 Class on Sunday.
This is no small feat as 451 teams entered to compete in this year’s cattle penning events and only 20 teams qualify to compete in each class. The Calgary Stampede Team Cattle Penning Championships features championship buckles in four different classes, each determined by the skill and experience of the competitors.
“I mostly go into the herd first, but I can also go in second and I can also be the turner,” says Clay.
The two brothers brim with excitement as they talk about their horses Stewy and Switch and their love for the sport.
“Our plan for Sunday is to just go in slow, and just be kind of calm in the herd, don’t go too fast, yet still have a fun time,” explains Clay.
The Team Cattle Penning Open Event is Saturday afternoon, and the Class 7 Event wraps up the Championship on Sunday with teams competing for a piece of the $75,000 pot.
Yesterday's Class 10 Team Cattle Penning Champions were Ron Bird, Ron Scott and Wendy Wenass who received a $22,761 payout.
Chase and Clay agree cattle penning is their favourite Stampede event.
“The people, the action, the fun and the plot twists are the best!”
For full results from the 7 Class – Team Cattle Penning competition, please visit ag.calgarystampede.com/results.
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
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