November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City

Ranch Sorting

Louis Saggione and Justin Underwood take home the gold in ranch sorting after years of showing together.

Louis Saggione and Justin Underwood have been competing, and winning, in team penning since their Youth careers. But this is their first ranch sorting win at the AQHA World Championship Show.

“That’s been so long ago I don’t even really remember,” Justin said of their showing start with a laugh.

“Our parents got us into it,” Louis said. “My family and his family are both into the sport and, you know, we met as kids riding in Youth together and we team up with his brother and my wife at a lot of the big shows we go to. We just carry that on here and we’ve had a lot of success.”

This is also a new-found win for both of the winning horses. Somebodys Riata and Swinglo have had success in team penning, but their owners were looking for a win in ranch sorting, as well.

“I’m actually riding a 9 year old mare that I sold some customers of mine, we’ve been showing her here three or four years now,” Louis said of “Karma,” a 2003 bay mare by Somebodys Smart and out of the Riata Man mare, Oaks Riata Babe. “We’ve won about everything on her except the sorting, so they were really happy and we were, too.”

Justin rode a 2004 sorrel mare by Justa Swinging Peppy and out of the Doc’s Hickory Mare, Hickory Hattie.

“Mine’s an 8 year old mare that has about the exact same story,” Justin said. “She’s been in the same place (as Karma) and… she was teamed on everything together last year with (Louis’s) horse and it finally paid off this year.”

“(We call her) ‘The Little Mare.' It’s a real original name… but she’s smaller than everybody else,” he said with a laugh.

Louis and Justin were very proud of their go, but acknowledged that there is always room for improvement.

“It was good, I think there were a couple little bobbles we had, but the cattle were tough so I think we managed well for what we had in front of us,” Louis said.

The pair have enjoyed competing in the ranch sorting and team penning all of these years at the AQHA World Championship Shows for several reasons.

“Here everything’s just really fair and the cattle are usually good,” Louis said. “The judges are great and there’s a lot of money here.”

Louis and Justin had several people to thank.

“(We want to thank) the owners of the horses, first, for giving us the opportunity to ride them and AQHA for putting on such a good show,” Louis said. “And our families for supporting us, and our partners.”

“(I want to thank) my wife for going everywhere with me, AQHA and the people that let us ride good horses,” Justin said.

As far as celebrating, the new ranch sorting World Champions don’t really have anything too exciting planed. They’ll be hitting the road to head back home.

“We’ve got to go to our National Finals next week, so we’ll go home and regroup a little bit and head back out,” Louis said.
Louis Saggione III and Justin Underwood

Louis Saggione and Justin Underwood sort their way to the World Champion title with Somebodys Riata and Swinglo. (Journal photo).