ONE of the fastest growing horse sports in the country is on show in Tamworth over the next few days as Team Penning Australia hold the fourth national titles at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC).
Whilst it is the fourth year of the national finals in Tamworth, it is the first year under the new TPA structure, where the affiliate clubs run the events.
TPA is the only organisation to hold a national titles, and secretary Suellen Guest said the AELEC is the perfect facility for the competition.
Numbers are down this year on last year, although the facility will still see 105 riders compete in over 500 runs in teams of three over the four days.
Yesterday was the opening day and saw the arena sorting rounds, with today and tomorrow the team penning rounds followed by a day of finals on Sunday.
All events are split into youths and opens with no horse restrictions.
Each competitor or team can have as many runs in the rounds as they like, although an entry fee is paid for every attempt.
After the two days of heats, the fastest thirty times will compete in the finals on Sunday, meaning that one team can have several spots in the final if they have the required times.
“Team penning is a very exciting sport that is growing all the time,” Guest said.
“It is also one of the only sports where men and women compete together and three generations of a family can compete in the same team.”
The sport requires the three riders to separate and pen three cattle out of a mob of thirty that are colour-coded, with the judge telling the riders which colour at the start of time.
The team has two minutes to pen the cattle, with the fastest time winning.
It is not only one of Australia’s fastest growing sports, but also internationally, with the USA, Canada, and other countries also heavily involved.
The national titles will run from 9am until 4pm every day until the finals on Sunday at the AELEC, with free entry for spectators.