by Jody ReynoldsThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Leading the preliminaries with the fastest time, Jordan, Joel and Sarah Lesh knew they had big shoes to fill in the November 6 open team penning finals at the AQHA World Championship Show.
But these seasoned riders know a thing or two about World Show pressure.
Working fifth in the team penning finals order, the three family members quickly penned their three cows for a combined score of 55.544 and three new gold trophies to add to their family's extensive collection.
“We changed up our strategy a little bit today,” Joel said. “I went first yesterday, and today I had Jordan go first. He was riding a little calmer horse to start the run. We were on a flightier herd. He took the cow to the left. We had one on each end after that. I told Sarah to pick up the second one. She went and got the cow off the end. I went and took the third one out, and we went to the pen.”
Joel and Jordan are brothers, and Sarah is married to their brother, Jared. The entire family has been team penning for years and attributes its success to good communication, experience and good horses.
“It’s teamwork,” Joel said. “You want to communicate so you know what your partners are doing and pay attention and be aware of what’s going on in the arena.”
“We ride together a lot,” Sarah added. “We’re all related, so it’s fun.”
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The 2012 team penning world champions: Joel Lesh, Sarah Anne Lesh and Jordan Lesh