Challenge, Sorting & Penning

Challenge, Sorting and Penning - What is it?

Do you enjoy riding with friends and family in a friendly and supportive environment, while making new friends along the way? If the answer is yes, then ABCRA Team Sorting is the sport for you! 

Team sorting is a fun and safe fast-paced horse sport that the whole family can enjoy! Unlike many other horse and cattle events, ABCRA Team Sorting provides you an affordable weekend horse sport experience! 

The sport sees two riders on horseback, placed in connected pens, where they must sort numbered cattle from one pen to another in in numerical order. And they must do it as quickly as possible! The fastest time wins! 

ABCRA Team Sorting uses a rider grade system which offers riders a competitive forum to ride against people with a similar skill set and provides riders a level playing field. 

Rider Grades

Rider Grades determine the classes competitors are eligible to compete in. Classes will have a Rider Grading Combination limit, meaning that the combined Rider Grading of competitors competing together as ride partners CANNOT exceed the combination limit for the event.

For example: Partners have entered the Novice Sort which has a Rider Combination of #8 – meaning the combined rating of the partners cannot be greater than #8. Partner A is graded as a Novice #3 rider and Partner B is graded as a Maiden #2 rider = Rider Combination #5.

Junior- 8 and U13yrs

Riders will be graded on LTE to allow for competing in standard open age events, however Rider Grading does not affect competing in age restricted events. For example: Rider is graded as Maiden #2 on LTE and so can compete in Maiden classes and above.

Juvenile – 13 and U17yrs

Riders will be graded on LTE to allow for competing in standard open age events, however Rider Grading does not affect competing in age restricted events. For example: Rider is graded as Maiden #2 on LTE and so can compete in Maiden classes and above.

Encouragement – Grade #1 (Adult Beginner Riders 17yrs and above) LTE $499

Encouragement riders are Adult riders who are classified as beginners. Have had no prior experience or are less competent in working cattle on horseback. The Encouragement grade is designed to help these beginner riders to gain skills and knowledge in working cattle on horseback, and to become confident in reading cattle movements.

Maiden – Grade #2 LTE $749

A Maiden rider is a confident beginner rider who has had some experience in working cattle on horseback. Maiden riders will show some skills and knowledge on reading cattle and have confidence in working cattle.

Novice – Grade #3 LTE $999 & Grade #4 LTE $1499

Novice riders are confident in reading cattle and gauging movements of cattle whilst working them on horseback. The Novice rider will show the skills and knowledge of an intermediate horseperson, and confidently work cattle.

Open – Grade #5 LTE $1999 & Grade #6 LTE $2499

Open riders are the riders who show high levels of skills and knowledge when working cattle on horseback. The Open rider is at the elite level of the sport and will showcase above average horsemanship, whilst confidently reading and gauging cattle whilst working them.

NOTE: All NEW riders will be probationally graded for the first show. Upon observation from the committee there will be a suggestion made to ABCRA on the correct Rider Grading.

For any riders who have an LTE of $1999 or above from cowsports such as campdrafting/cutting and have never competed in any form of sorting, there will be a ONE show probationary Rider Grading of Novice #3, after completion of first show rider grading will be adjusted accordingly to the Open Rider Grading based on LTE.

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Australia’s best rodeo competitors crowned in Tamworth, NSW

Countdown is on to ABCRA National Finals Rodeo

Australia’s best rodeo competitors will head to the nation’s country music capital this week for the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association’s (ABCRA) National Finals Rodeo. 

The hallmark event will begin on Thursday, 19 January at the Australian Equine Livestock and Events Centre (AELEC) in Tamworth, NSW, kicking off three full days of rodeo action. 

ABCRA Executive Officer, Craig Young, says the event will showcase the very best of Australian rodeo. 

“The top 15 competitors from each rodeo discipline have been invited to compete at the National Finals Rodeo this week and we have some talented men’s, women’s and junior riders ready and raring to go,” said Mr Young. 

“These riders have accumulated points by competing at ABCRA affiliated events throughout the year, so they’ll be throwing everything on the line to take out top honours.” 

Among the riders competing will be Katina Matthews, who’s leading the Ladies Barrel Race, Travis Heeb in the Open Bareback, Wade McCarthy who’s leading Open Bull Ride, and Anna Crisp, in the Ladies Breakaway Roping.  

The country’s best junior and juvenile riders will also take to the arena, with the junior section of the National Finals kicking off at 8am each day in the main arena. 

“Our main event on Thursday will also be a dedicated family night with kids under 12 free, so I encourage everyone to get their tickets now and secure their seats,” said Mr Young. 

“Country music artist and former Golden Guitar Award finalist Liam Brew will also perform for crowds on Saturday night, ahead of the final round of the National Finals Rodeo.” 

The ABCRA’s National Finals Rodeo will also have a charitable side with the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Rodeo on Friday night to raise money for the NSW Cancer Council. 

More than $75,000 has been raised for the NSW Cancer Council since 2011 through dedicated rodeo events. 

Shaen Fraser from the Cancer Council said: “Pink Ribbon events raise both awareness around women’s cancers and funding for local initiatives and support services like Inala House and Cancer Council’s Accommodation support program, Transport to Treatment and Home Help programs. These are vital services for local women and their families as they undergo cancer treatment and as part of their recovery.  

“Donating just $10 can help pay for an Information Pack to help a woman cope after surgery, and a donation of $50 Can help fund a call to a cancer nurse on 13 11 20, that informs and supports a woman through a breast cancer diagnosis.” 

Saturday’s main event will be the Bruce Green Memorial, in aide of Lifeline and local mental health support services. 

“Representative from these organisations will be out and about during our main events, so I encourage everyone attending to dig deep and support them, as they provide critical services to our region,” said Mr Young. 

The junior sections of National Finals Rodeo will kick off at 8am each day and are free to enter. Tickets for the main events can be purchased via 


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