hp Cattle & Horses in Montrose, CO
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How are various Sorters rated?  What to the ratings/divisions mean?

New Sorters are normally rated a #1.  Advanced sorters are rated a #5 or a #6.  A sorter is rated on their riding ability, their horse(s) sorting abilities, experience in reading/working cattle, etc.  If a cutting trainer shows up for their first sorting, even though it is a new event to them, they would be rated probably a #5 or #6.  The ratings allow for a more even playing field.  Most new sorters probably want to concentrate riding in the #6 Division and possibly the #9 Division.  The Open Division normally consists of faster times, more experienced horses and riders.  Sorters are evaluated each year and can be adjusted up or down.  If someone is dominating a division they will be moved.  We do not move any sorters during the middle of a Series.  By running the 3 different divisions this gives every sorter, whether rated a 1 or a 6 at  least 2 divisions to compete in.  Some sorters are driving from quite long distances and they want to be able to compete in at least 2 divisions.

What is the One Man Sort?

We started the one man sort in 2016 after Heidi met some Wyoming sorters who had been running it and really enjoyed it.  We have 5 numbered cattle in the sorting pen and you sort them in order all by yourself.  There is a one minute time limit and we run all teams one way.   It is one go round, with the top ten teams to the short go.  We pay one every 8 riders.  It is a 3 ride limit, $20.00 per ride.

What is the 5 Man Arena Sort?

There are 5 sorters on a team in the arena with ten head of numbered cattle.  There is a foul line marked between the cattle and the riders.  The team must sort the cattle in numerical order across the line.  The team with the most amount of cattle in the quickest time wins.  A team can decide who goes into the herd and who holds the line.  There are no rules on how many people can be in/go into the herd it is totally up to the team.

What is the difference between a "pick" and a "draw" team?

This season you are allowed to ride 5 times (except Youth) in all divisions.  You can pick up to 2 teams or simply draw all teams.  However, for every team you pick, you must draw.  A "Pick" team is someone you have asked to ride a "Draw" team is basically chosen out of the computer system to ride.

What is a "lap timer?" 

As each cow crosses through the sorting gate the timer, keys the computer to record that time.  At the completion of the run, the computer will then have team #1 sorting 5 head in a time of 42.49.  The next team then enters and completes their run, let's say also sorting 5 head in a time of 41.48.  At the conclusion of the first go their may be a large number of teams sorting 5 head however, it would be the fastest times getting back as 41.48 would be the 42.49.

Will Matt & Heidi put on any Team Pennings in the future?

Pretty doubtful.  It is a tough sport on cattle and our heifers have voted against it!!  We do plan on putting on some 3 man arena sortings once our arena construction has been completed.

Why do Pre-Entries help?

This mainly helps the sorters being allowed to work good cattle.  We do NOT keep our sorting cattle at the house and must haul the day before the sorting.  If we know how many teams we have, we know how many cattle we need to haul home and number.  If we are expecting a small group and a large group shows up, it is really tough on the cattle and they can get sour and the playing field will not be as even.  This is also a Humane issue as we are not going to run the cattle if they are getting too tired as that is when injury can occur to the cattle, the horses and the riders.    If we are short cattle, with enough notice we can always lease outside cattle. 

Why do we not sanction events?

Bottom line is money.  We try and keep these events as cheap as we can and with the high cost of cattle that is a pretty tough deal.  If we did sanctioned sortings every sorter would end up paying a minimum of $3.00 per run to the national organization, a membership fee from $45.00 to $60.00 per year, per person, etc.  We have no membership fee, no arena fee, no sanction fee, etc.  We are trying to keep the event affordable so everyone can come have fun without breaking the bank.

Can I come practice sorting/work my horse(s) on cattle.  If so, what is the cost?

Most months out of the year we have practice cattle.  A few sorters can decide to come as a group, Heidi can organize a small group or you can simply come work cattle by yourself or Heidi will always sort with you as I have plenty of horses that need worked.  The cost is $30.00 per person, per hour (doesn't matter how many horses you work).  If the group is 6 or more people the cost will be $25.00 per person, per hour.  You just have to call or email Heidi and make arrangements. 

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