SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A skill that’s learned on the ranch is on full display at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds.
It’s a race against the clock, and cattle, in the sport of Team Penning.
“It’s a group of 30 cattle that are inside an arena with three riders horseback. You have to go in and sort out three cattle that are numbered the same out of those 30 and bring them into a small pen at the back,” Co-Producer and competitor Mark Braunschmidt said.
Team Penning takes plenty of skill, but the secret to success is relatively simple, on paper.
“Hard work, dedication, but you’ve got to be mounted, you’ve got to ride a good equine athlete, a good partner. You’ve got to understand that partner and what they can do. You also have to trust your human partner, your human teammates as well,” Braunschmidt said.
“Finding some horses that can last all day,” 18-year-old competitor Cali Brookshire said.
Cali Brookshire is a professional rider and stands number one in the world rankings in her division.
“We have ratings, so there’s a zero through a seven and I’m rated a six penner and a seven sorter so I’m a pro in both penning and sorting and I’m rated number one in the six-class and the seven-class, so I have the most points overall of all the pros in the sport,” Brookshire said.
The 18-year-old from Houston, Texas travels the country to compete. She’s also a senior in high school.
“I go to a private school so they allow me to have a certain number of days off and they help me out with my work, and I just do work when I’m on the road and keep all A’s so I can get into a good college,” Brookshire said.
Her plans don’t end with college.
“I want to be an equine vet, but I want to keep doing this, so I want to start training horses just a little bit more and just help people grow in the sport because I know the people who helped me, I have a lot of thankfulness for and I want to be one of those mentors for someone else,” Brookshire said.
The U.S. Team Penning Association event runs through Sunday inside the Expo Building and is free and open to the public.