Niki and Louie Saggione had a hunch that Robert Delude, Ryan Jones and Robb Hanshaw would work well together as teammates.
Their intuition was right as the trio wound up winning the 7 Class – Team Cattle Penning competition at the Calgary Stampede on Monday at the Nutrien Western Event Centre.
“Each of them have their strong points and Niki placed them together because of that,” explained Louie Saggione, who has twice been part of teams who have won cattle penning events at the Calgary Stampede himself (the Open Class in 2007 and the 7 Class in 2017). “I’ve won here before and watching them win was just as good,” he added,
Team cattle penning is a show of athleticism and skills as horse and rider square off against the herd instincts of cattle.
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 Calgary Stampede Team Cattle Penning Championships features teams vying for championship buckles in four different classes, each determined by the skill and experience of the competitors.
As the elder statesman of the team of competitors from three different states, Hanshaw, 66, of Tucson, Arizona, explained how they came together to compile the best four-round time of 148.89 seconds to win $25,353.
“We have never been in shows together, but we ride with Louie and Niki occasionally and they thought we’d be a good match,” Hanshaw said. “Good chemistry, that’s what good teams are.”
Jones, 42, of Effingham, Illinois, agreed with his new-found friend.
“We’re from all over the country, so we ride different shows,” said Jones, who’s happy the Saggiones saw something in the three of them. “They thought we’d match and we did.”
While Hanshaw and Jones are Stampede rookies, Delude, 58, of Waskom, Texas, competed in Calgary last year and finished third and fifth in a pair of Team Cattle Penning events to win about $7,000.
“The older you get, it’s better,” Delude said. “This is a premier deal here. We come a long ways to do this.”
And Hanshaw is happy he made the decision to come to Calgary for the first time.
“I heard it was a great show,” he said. “It was one I’ve always wanted to come to and never really been invited to with good teams. I had an opportunity and took it.”
Tucker Brown, Jason Robinson and Leanne Wolf finished with a combined time of 166.45 seconds to finish in second spot in the 7 Class event. For their efforts, they earned $16,902 to split three ways.
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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