Calgary – Rambunctious livestock were the wild cards during a nail-biting third round in Friday night’s 14 Class Team Cattle Penning final at the Calgary Stampede as seven teams out of the 20-team field either posted no time, or trashed out, due to a runaway cow.
Although the team of Deana Adams, Devin Antony and Carmon Reich held the lead from the second round on, nothing was guaranteed when so many teams were falling by the wayside at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“It was very tough, very challenging for the teams,” Reich said. “Everybody feels like they have to start it out strong, to post the numbers. We didn’t have that much time to gamble, only about three and a half seconds.”
The trio managed to hold the lead, however, and took the champion spot, along with a cheque for $22,140 and the accompanying belt buckles with an aggregate time of 139.17 and 12 head. Beau Riedel, Larry Cressman and Wallace McComish rocketed up the standings, from 10th spot after round two, to land the reserve champion slot. They took home $14,760 and trophy blankets with a time of 142.43 and 12 head.
Team Cattle Penning gives a team of three riders on horseback 60 seconds to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and direct them into a 16-foot-by-24-foot pen at the opposite end of the arena. It’s a fast-paced dance between the riders, their mounts and the cattle they’re aiming to pen.
Teamwork is paramount, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen. The Calgary Stampede Team Cattle Penning Championships pay out in excess of $200,000 cash and awards over four classes.
This is the first year that Adams and Reich, partners who live west of Grande Prairie, have ridden together with Calgarian Antony. While the two gents have penning titles to their names (Reich took the title in 2005, the last year there was only one class; Antony has a belt buckle for his Open Class win in 2014), this is only Adams’ third Stampede, and the first time she qualified for the finals.
“When you’re out there, the clock is faster than it seems,” she said. “When I looked up and saw 40 seconds, I thought, ‘Whoa, that seems wrong.’ (The team posted a time of 46.43 with three cows penned in the final round.) But it was enough to get the job done.”
The 7 Class final also took place Friday at the ’Dome, with Kim Daniels, Rob Fritz and David Harker taking the champion spot. The trio received $28,058 and belt buckles for a time of 166.88 and 12 head, while reserve champions Calvin Baldwin, Jennifer Baldwin and Barbara Kumlin took home $18,705 and trophy blankets for their time of 169.38 and 12 head.