OPEN TEAM PENNING RESULTS
CHAMPION TEAM: Devin Antony, Calgary.
Kirk Cottrell, Millarville
Donna O’Reilly, Millarville
Aggregate time over 4 runs: 131.12 seconds
Larry Cressman, DeWinton
Wallace McComish, Stettler
James Greer, Hemet, Calif.
Aggregate time over 4 runs: 131.93 seconds
The team of Donna O’Reilly, Kirk Cottrell and Devin Antony have been penning together for ten years. That’s also how long it had been since O’Reilly won her last Stampede buckle. On Saturday night, everything went their way and they all won buckles, and split a cheque for $12,185, after four rounds of Open Penning action. The team’s margin of victory was only .81 seconds.
A total of 68 teams began the Open Class competition with two rounds of qualifying on Thursday at the Okotoks Agricultural Society. Coming into the Stampede today, the Cottrell/Antony/O’Reilly combo was tenth of the 20 teams who made it to the final day. With each team penning three cattle each, tenth meant they had been able to watch the 30-cow herd and determine exactly which trio of cattle they had to work with. When all three broke out at the same time, Antony said, \”It was a pinch-yourself moment. When you have teammates with the composure to handle it, it’s fantastic.\” All three animals were penned in a blazingly-quick 24.89 seconds and the team’s effort in the final round was just good enough to eke out the win.
In the 20 times she has been coming to Stampede, O’Reilly said, this is only her second champion’s buckle. \”This means a lot. We’ve been trying for ten years,\” she said. It was even bigger for Antony and Cottrell, who had never won a Stampede title before. \”This is the biggest win since I started,\” Antony said, while Cottrell called the victory \”a real dream come true. It was on my bucket list. It’s the only thing I hadn’t won in penning.\”
Last year, Wallace McComish and Larry Cressman were on the team that won the Open championship. This year the duo, along with James Greer, had to settle for the Reserve title – which was still good for a $8,123 cheque.
The Stampede’s Team Cattle Penning Competition has drawn a record 551 teams from across the continent this year, with a total prize purse of $272,787.
Team Cattle Penning, a race against the clock, gives a team of three riders on horseback 60 seconds to separate three specifically identified cattle from a herd of 30 and direct them into a 16-foot-by-24-foot pen at the opposite end of the arena. Teamwork is paramount, with all three riders working in harmony to cut out the correct cattle and drive them to the pen. Teams of riders enter the Stampede’s four classes based on relative skill and experience — in ascending order from 7 Class, to 10 Class, to 14 Class, to the pure travelling professionals of the Open Class.
Team Cattle Penning action will conclude Sunday evening, July 6th, in the Saddledome with the 10 Class third round beginning at 5:30 p.m. and final immediately following.