SHW547. Ranch Sorting


SHW547. RANCH SORTING. Ranch sorting is derived from the ranching practice of sorting cows from calves or steers from heifers where finesse, agility and cattle working skills excel. It is a fun competitive timed event that matches a two rider team against 12 head of cattle to be sorted in numerical order from one sorting pen to another. The most cattle sorted in the fastest time wins. This family-oriented class showcases the great American ranching heritage in arenas all across the country. Points will be awarded based on the number of teams entered. For every five teams there will be a point awarded to each of the two winning team members. The basic concept of ranch sorting is that there are ten numbered cattle, 0-9, and two unnumbered cattle for a total 12 head at the beginning of a run behind a foul line in an arena with two people mounted on the other side of the foul line.

  • SHW547.1 Ranch sorting will take place between two pens of approximately equal size with show management’s option of working cattle back and forth or only one way. Two ranch sorting arenas may be placed side by side with odd numbered teams in one arena and even numbered teams in the other arena. If cattle are to be worked back and forth, they need to be moved to the opposite pen and back before each new herd entering the arena is worked. Recommended sorting area to be 50’ - 60’ in diameter with no 90 degree corners, i.e. 60’ round pen or octagonal “stop sign” design.
  • SHW547.2 The start foul line will be recommended as a 12’ - 16’ opening between the two pens.
  • SHW547.3 There will be either a 90, 75, or 60 second clock for each class, at the option of show management. The official clock is the electronic display clock and is required at all sorting shows. The official time of each run is determined by the amount of time used until all 10 cattle are sorted or the time limit has expired. Time will continue until all cattle are sorted in the correct order or the time limit is reached, either of which becomes the official time for that team.
  • SHW547.4 A lap timer is to be used in all sorting classes to break ties where the cattle count is equal in runs of less than 10 cattle sorted. The stop watch used for lap time purposes will also be the back-up timer in the event of a malfunction of the electronic display clock. Lap times are cumulative in multiple go-round events as well as the number of cattle sorted, but do not replace the official time of each run. Lap times only come into play when the cattle counts and the official times are identical.
  • SHW547.5 There will be a minimum of one judge for sorting, to be positioned evenly with the foul line.
  • SHW547.6 All cattle will be bunched on the cattle side of the gate within the designated area before the time begins. At the conclusion of each run, the judge will designate the need to bunch cattle.
  • SHW547.7 The judge will raise the flag to signal when the arena is ready. The flag will drop when the nose of the first horse crosses the start/foul line and the announcer will provide the number to be sorted first. The riders will be given their number instantly. Any delay in crossing the foul line may result in a “no-time” for the team. With particular interest, that no one or two cattle are isolated.
  • SHW547.8 All cattle must have approved back numbers; neck numbers are not acceptable. The cattle are sorted in order. If any part of a numbered cow crosses the start/foul line prior to its correct order, then the team receives a no-time. If any part of a sorted cow re-crosses the start/foul line, the team will be disqualified. If any part of any unnumbered cow crosses the foul line before the tenth cow is cleanly sorted, it will result in a no-time.
  • SHW547.9 The order of sorting is determined by the picking of a random number by the announcer/timer and then that cow must be sorted first. For instance, if 5 is drawn as the first number, 5 is sorted first, then cow 6 must be sorted, 7, 8, 9, 0, 1 and so on. A cow is considered sorted when the entire cow is completely across the start/foul line.
  • SHW547.10 If there is a malfunction of the sorting pen or a numbered cow jumps any fence and either leaves the arena or ends up in the opposite pen, but did not pass through the gate, it will result in a re-ride for that team at the end of the herd (assuming it was not caused by roughing of the cattle). In the instance of a re-ride, exhibitors will receive a full (90, 75 or 60 second) clock, but the exhibitor’s time cannot be improved. However, the number of cattle sorted during the allotted time can be improved. (Example: If a team had five head in 55 seconds (with a 60 second clock) when the cow jumped the fence, they would get a re-ride with the full 60 second clock. In the re-ride, the same team sorted ten head in 50 seconds. Their official time would be ten head in 55 seconds).
  • SHW547.11 Should a herd be numbered incorrectly or have too many non-numbered cattle, the team(s) will receive a re-ride at the end of that set of cattle. If a team is given a number that has already been used within a given herd, a rerun must be given immediately, using the correct number within that same herd.
  • SHW547.12 At the judge’s discretion, if a re-ride is given because of un-numbered, injured or unfit cattle, the re-ride will occur immediately using the same numbered cattle once unjured, unfit or un-numbered cattle are replaced.
  • SHW547.13 Any unnecessary roughness to cattle or horses or unsportsmanlike conduct may result in disqualification.
  • SHW547.14 Any excessive use of a whip, rope, crop, bat or reins anywhere on the horse will be cause for disqualification.
  • SHW547.15 Three divisions, all-age youth, all-age amateur and all-age open may be offered. Select amateur classes may also be offered as a separate class from all-age amateur. Points will be awarded based on the number of teams entered in the class. For every five teams, there will be a point awarded to each of the two winning team members.
  • SHW547.16 In multiple go round events, teams must sort cleanly with a time to advance.
  • SHW547.17 A snaffle bit, curb bit or hackamore may be used no matter the age of the horse and may be ridden two handed.