PHJ release by: Jessica Hein
Designed to showcase real-world ranch horses while putting a premium on fun, friendly competition, APHA’s all-breed Ranch Work Championships made its debut at the 2020 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo on January 31 in Fort Worth, Texas.
The event featured three events: ranch penning, ranch course and ranch roping, all of which are limited to walk/trot only. Open to all breeds, the timed-event placings generated three sets of divisional awards, allows riders of all skill levels to shine amongst their peers.
“We were thrilled to showcase the Ranch Work Championships at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. The rich cowboy history of the Will Rogers Coliseum made it the perfect venue,” APHA senior director of marketing, membership & special events. “All the competitors had a blast and being a timed event really allowed the spectators to get involved.”
Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team Coach Justin Stanton of Lubbock, Texas, ended up as the 1D reserve all-around champion with GVG Pepto Chic Olena, a 2014 sorrel tobiano mare owned by Randy Head of Sylvester, Texas.
“I’ve never done any kind of timed events—it was a blast!” Justin said. “They did a really good job structuring this so it’s fair for everybody.”
Fellow competitor Greg Robinson of Streetman, Texas, agreed. He was reserve all-around champion in the 2D aboard One Helluva Guy, a 2010 palomino overo gelding owned by Jacki Jo Parks of Azle, Texas.
“It’s nice to see some big events at a facility like this,” Greg said. “To come in and be able to use the skills that a real cowboy needs to have is great.”
New to the timed ranch event world was Courtney Jenkins of Azle, who brought her 2007 black tobiano gelding Black Prime Fever to the 2020 Ranch Work Championships. With only three lessons in roping before the competition, Courtney was thrilled to catch her cow during the ranch roping portion.
“I saw how fun this was [at the 2019 APHA World Show], so I thought, ‘why not try it?’ It’s something different for both of us. [My horse is] such a trooper and he does whatever I ask,” Courtney said. “The timed aspect really is what drew me to do this. We’ve shown ranch classes, but he’s kind of big for that. This gave us an opportunity to have fun. It’s something everybody can do, and the way it’s set up, everybody has a chance—I love that. I had a blast.”
Congratulations to our overall all-around winners:
1D Champion: Brent Bennett, Grandview, TX
1D Reserve: Justin Stanton, Lubbock, TX
2D Champion: Matt Nichols, Richards, TX
2D Reserve: Greg Robinson, Streetman, TX
3D Champion: Robert Clipper, Huntsville, TX
3D Reserve: Ann Matthews, Charlotte, TX
For full results, please visit ranchworkchampionships.com.