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Ranch Sorting at Hart Farms


Article & photos by Morganna Fisher, MAFisher Photography

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, pickups and trailers pulled into Hart Farms in Collierville, Tenn. for the first, of hopefully many, Ranch Sorting Competitions.  Riders of all ages and experience levels were welcomed and encouraged to compete. The event attracted teams and spectators from Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

“This is the first Ranch Sorting here at Hart Farms and we hope to bring many more competitions to the area. We are all here to have fun, but this is mainly for the kids. We want our kids to stay involved in the Western way of life and bring new faces into horse and Rodeo competitions,” Brad Hart of Hart Productions said to the crowd at the arena. His daughter Loni presented the Stars and Stripes as Mr. Van Beasley, of Van’s Leatherwork of Byhalia, Miss., sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and gave the invocation. 

Parker Bradford, who manages Hart Farms and works with several of the youth who were competing, said, “Watching these young horsemen and horsewomen experience the thrill of working cattle, many for the first time, was something special. The smiles on their faces said it all, and that is really what this event was all about.”  

Ranch Sorting, another Western event born from ranch work, has two riders that enter a figure eight shaped pen, separated by a “gap,” with numbered cattle in one end. The goal is to move the cattle sequentially into the other end in an allotted time.  Riders must work together cutting the assigned cow out from the herd, “pushing” the cow through the gap, while keeping the rest of the herd out until the their number is up to complete the sequence.  Some teams had a “pusher” and a “guard,” while other teams alternated duties.

Even though it was a competition, you could hear encouragements called to the riders in the pen, as well as the description or number of the needed cow; “push,” “come up,” “back up” and rounds of cheers were heard as the needed cow crossed the gap.  The grounds were lined with family, friends and older cowboys, like Mr. Sammy Tippler, as they gathered to watch the next generations of cowboys and cowgirls.  

Joe Cunningham stated, “Cunningham Cattle Company had the opportunity to supply the cattle for this occasion, and we had several employees, friends, and family participate as well.  I also got to enter with my eight year old son, Dawson; this was his first time to officially enter a ranch event of any kind.  The support and encouragement that was given to him by everyone in attendance was so encouraging and really helped his confidence to pursue his interest in ranching and rodeos. My family had a great time and we are very pleased to see Brad Hart organize a family friendly event for all ages.  I hope to see this event grow and become a regular event in the future.”  

Winners for Youth:  Becca Crislip and Sara Heckman

Novice:  Chelsea Byrd and Jamie Porter

Open 1&2 split: Matthew Hicks and Jeff Beach; Jeff Beach and Ricky Barnhart

The Ranch Sorting was sponsored by Hewlett & Dunn Jean & Boot Company, Cunningham Cattle Company – Joe Cunningham of Red Banks, Miss., and Browning Contractors. Concessions from Mark Ballard of Rockin Robin Concessions, Covington, Tenn., Hart Farms Collierville, Tenn., managed by Parker Bradford, and announcer Brad Hart of Hart Productions.  Follow Hart Farms on Facebook for information on Sunday Fun Day Sortings and future competitions.

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