by Samantha EckertThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Kevin and Thomas work together to get all their cows in order to win the 2011 AQHA World Show title in amateur ranch sorting.
The father-son team made up of Thomas and Kevin Stang of Winchester, Kentucky, won their first ranch sorting world championship title November 8. After a decade of team penning and ranch sorting together the duo earned staked their claim in the amateur ranch sorting.
“It hadn’t really hit me yet,” Kevin says about what it means to win his first title at the AQHA World Championship Show. “But a lot,” he adds.
“It’s the dream of a lifetime for me,” Thomas says.
Kevin rode a 1995 bay mare named Miss River Oak. The mare, “Mercedes,” is by Powder River Playboy and out of Dox Rey Oak by Doc’s Oak. Mercedes took Kevin to the 2002 youth world championship title in team penning and the pair has been unstoppable since. The mare has been in the top 10 or higher nine times. Kevin has placed in the top 10 nine times as well.
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Thomas rode the 2000 sorrel mare, Rey Lena San, who is sired by Little Rey Peppy and out of Peppys Nuette by Peppy Lena San. In 2003, the mare was third in the year-end high-point award for junior team penning, along with being top 10 in amateur team penning at the World Show twice.
Last year the pair was fourth in the finals together in the team penning, but this year in the amateur ranch sorting they had a little better luck.
“In the prelims, the cows flowed really good,” Kevin says. “And the horses worked really good. Everything cooperated.”
“It was storybook,” Thomas adds.
“In the finals we drew up last,” Kevin explains, “and the cows got easier as the time went on. It just worked out great.”
“It just flowed again,” Thomas says.
The pair was quite tickled with their new belt buckles, trophies and neck wreaths. As they joked around, they explained their strategy for sorting the calves.
“He tells me what to do, and I do it,” Thomas says.
“No,” Kevin says, “it’s just a rotation. That’s it.”
“Yeah, but he does a lot of coaching,” Thomas adds.
“It’s team work. It takes two,” Kevin says.
The newly-crowned champion team will be headed to Bloomington, Indiana after they return from the World Show.
“Another Quarter Horse show,” Thomas says.
This time they will each be sporting a shiny new AQHA world champion belt buckle after their storybook ride in the Jim Norick arena.