Trio wins championship by the numbers

Team Penning: Millarville riders and STS grad team up for Stampede victory

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 12:58 pm

Okotoks’ Deb Rowland keeps her eye on a calf during the Calgary Stampede 10-handicap team penning final at the Saddledome on July 6.
Okotoks’ Deb Rowland keeps her eye on a calf during the Calgary Stampede 10-handicap team penning final at the Saddledome on July 6.
Bruce Campbell/OWW

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It takes a lot of communication and teamwork to sort things out — and sometimes a little luck can make you a champion.

The foothills area team of Millarville’s Kirk Cottrell, Donna O’Reilly and Calgary’s Devin Antony won the Calgary Stampede open team penning at the Saddledome on Saturday.

They were helped out in the short-go semifinal of 20 teams when they were able to pen three calves in just over 24 seconds.

“Absolutely there is some luck,” said Antony, a 2008 Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School grad. “I went into the herd first and I saw a way to bring two of our cows and the third one went with me. So we were able to bring all three cows in one move.”

Team penning has three riders separating three calves from a herd of 30. Each calf is given a number from 0-9. The announcer shouts out a number, for example 2, and the riders go in and separate the three calves with no. 2 on their backs. The riders herd them into a pen at the end of the arena.

After the go of 20 teams, there is one final go of 10 teams. The Foothills squad had jumped from 11th to first thanks to the 24-second time — meaning they had the final ride.

“On the final draw, Devin picked one off at the right hand side, Donna got one on the left and then Devin went back to get the third one out of the middle,” Cottrell said. “Then we headed to the pen.”

The calves seemed to be going to the pen easier than that talking pig Babe, when they suddenly got a mind of their own.

“We had a little bit of a whirlybird because the calves weren’t cooperating,” Cottrell said.

The calves went their separate ways.

“One went to the pen, one went to the side of the wall and one stood in the middle of nowhere,” Cottrell said.

“Donna split off on got the one on the wing, Devin got the one by the wall and we got them in.”

The trio have penned together for 10 years.

There times over the six rounds was 131.120 seconds, that was just ahead of the team of Larry Cressman, James Greer and Wallace McCormish at 131.930.

Cressman of DeWinton was part of the team, which won the open championship last year.

The Okotoks Agriculture Society once again hosted the Calgary Stampede qualifying rounds on July 2-3 before the finals in Calgary.

For full results of the Calgary Stampede team penning go ag.calgarystampede.com

bcampbell@okotoks.greatwest.ca


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