2011 Youth World
by Christine HamiltonThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Carrie Dean, 15, of Brandon, Mississippi, Tristan McCormick, 13, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Travis Roberson, 15, of Gainesville, Texas, were sitting 11th coming into the August 12 team penning finals at the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. They had penned three cattle in 55.493 in the prelims. All three are seasoned competitors: Carrie has been team penning since she was 5, and the two young men since the age of 3. Carrie and Tristan were returning to defend their title as part of the 2010 youth world championship team. Last in the finals go, they stuck with their regular strategy and penned three cattle in 39.636 – the combined time and cattle garnered the win. The
caught up with them shortly after the win.
Q: How did you feel coming into the finals?
Carrie: We were nervous only because we didn’t come in with the fastest time, but we tried to have confidence.
Q: Did you have a strategy?
Travis: Just go in there get them penned; take what the cattle give us
Carrie: We’ve been penning for a long time together, so it was just do what we always do… I usually go first. Travis, he’s our lineman. Me and Tristan alternate going into the herd.
Travis: They work the herd, and I stay on the line. It’s better because they’re quieter. I’m not that quiet in the herd.
Q: What are the biggest mistakes you see riders make in the team penning?
Carrie: A lot of people try to go too fast.
Tristan: They work themselves more than they work the cattle.
Travis: They miss the cow, and they’re not slowing down and trying to get it back out there, they’re hammering on it and then they blow up the herd. That’s what happened tonight on a few teams.
Q: How does it feel to come out with a world championship?
Travis: It feels great! They know what it feels like; I don’t. This is my first year.
Carrie: Me and Tristan won last year so it feels even better when you do it two times in a row.
Tristan: You’ve got to defend it!
Q: How did you become a team?
Carrie: Last year, Jordan Lesh was our teammate, and he got us together. This year Jordan is (out of the youth division) so we picked up Travis here.
Travis: I had big shoes to fill, but I filled them, I think!
Q: Tell me about your horses.
Travis: (Playboy Is My Papa) doesn’t like it when people walk up to his stall when he’s eating. He likes to eat in private. … He’s the best horse I ever rode in my life…. He’s really good; I love him to death.
Carrie: My horse is Dual Playgun. I call him “Moose.” I’ve had him for a while now and he’s my favorite. He doesn’t like other people; he only really likes me…. In the pen, my favorite part (about him) is he’s really cowy. He likes to cut.
Tristan: My horse (Hickorys Lad Skeet) is good all around. He’s 18; I’ve been riding him since I was about 3 or 4. We’ve been together a long time; I love him to death. He does a lot in the pen; he’s real cowy; he’s fast; he’s just good all around.
Q: Do you have any advice for youth that want to come here to show?
Tristan: Ride to have fun.
Travis: Just come and have fun, you can’t be nervous, like this one right here (nudges Carrie).
Carrie: We were all nervous!
Travis: I was not nervous, I was just…not confident at first. I was confident later. That’s all that counts – we did it.
Carrie Dean, Travis Roberson and Tristan McCormick pen their cattle to claim the team penning world championship August 12 at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.