by Laura StevensThe American Quarter Horse Journal
2010 Amateur Team Penning Champions
Mike Belter, Wally Hays and Tom Field just won their first AQHA world championship.
Riding Colonel Misty Rey, PS Ima Little Jerry and Ms Royal Hickory Rey, respectively, the team entered the Jim Norick arena last in the draw of the amateur team penning finals.
“We knew what we had to do,” Mike explained. “We only had to get two head. Fortunately we had one (calf) on top that was sitting there, just waiting for us. It came out (of the herd) pretty clean.”
Tom and PS Ima Little Jerry rode into the herd to retrieve their second calf, “and drove it to the wall,” Mike said. “Then into the pen we came. The herd stayed off for us, thankfully. The cattle loaded up good, and it turned out to be a winning run!”
This isn’t the trio’s first trip to the AQHA World Championship Show. “We’ve been penning together for a lot of years now,” Tom said.
“We’ve been here several times. This is our first time to hit big, though,” Mike said with a smile.
The team has a lot to be thankful for, as they all agreed. “I’ll start off by thanking God,” Tom said. “And then each other, and having good horses.”
So what’s next for Mike, Tom and Wally?
“We’ll definitely be back!” Wally said.
For tonight, the team will celebrate their world championship.
“It’s quite an accomplishment!” Mike said.