Reed Hunt And Mason Ridely Win Summer's First Team Sorting Contest

Monthly team sorting events will take place at the Event Center

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Sally Willis, Reed Hunt, Mason Ridely, Heather White, Charlene Hunt and Maizy Hall were first- and second-place winners at a team sorting held at the Payson Event Center. The sorting was sponsored by Terri and Destry Haught (rear).

Calling upon their finest working cow-horse skills, the trio of Sally Willis, Reed Hunt and Mason Ridely took first place in the first of monthly team sorting events to be held this summer in the Payson Event Center.

The team's victory, which was chalked up May 30, earned the equestrian crew the $246 jackpot.

Heather White, Charlene Hunt and Maizy Hall garnered second-place honors. For their runner-up showing, the three split $144.

The evening prior to the team sorting, a team-roping event was held in PEC that was won by 15-year-old Jessi James and Sonny Cook of Camp Verde.

James worked as the header and Cook the heeler.

Grace Productions and the Payson Parks and Recreation Department sponsored both the team sorting and the team roping.

"The series will conclude in September with the presentation of high point, senior, junior and women (team) sorters," town PEC coordinator Charlene Hunt said.

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A big part of the summer equestrian program at Payson Event Center is the weekly barrel racing and pole bending events that have drawn good-sized crowds. Recently, a new $7,100 scoreboard was erected on the judge's stand to time and score the events.

Team sorting, which is similar to team penning, is relatively new to the Rim Country and involves the challenge of both the rider and horse reading cattle and keeping a herd of 10 to 12 cows under control.

Grace Productions officer Terri Haught and Charlene Hunt, a former Payson rodeo queen, tout the sport as fun, exciting and one in which the emphasis is on good sportsmanship and building new friendships. Team sorting debuted in Payson in April when Rafter M Performance Horses of Camp Verde hosted both a clinic and competition in the event center.

For more information on team sorting, call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7, or Haught at (520) 705-5919.

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