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November 7-22, 2014, Oklahoma City

Amateur Ranch Sorting

Teamwork turns into a world championship for Sarah Lesh and Niki Saggione.

 Sarah Anne Lesh and Niki Saggione

Sarah Lesh, left, and Niki Saggione rode hard for the world championship in amateur ranch sorting November 6. (Journal photo)

Communication is the key to teamwork, which is the key to world championships.

That bit of advice comes from Sarah Lesh of Whitesboro, Texas, and Niki Saggione of Jacksboro, Texas, who November 6 won the world championship in amateur ranch sorting at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.

“We ride together a lot,” Sarah said. “We ride together probably two weekends out of the month. We’re real consistent with each other and it’s just teamwork, I guess.”

Sarah and Niki have been riding together for seven years.

This year, Sarah was riding Highbrows Catamandoo, a 2007 bay stallion by High Brow Cat-Amanda Merada by Freckles Merada. He was bred by Strawn Valley Ranch of Strawn, Texas, and is owned by Jared Lesh of Whitesboro, Texas.

Niki owns her horse, Sprats Cat, a 2000 sorrel gelding by High Brow Cat-Jae Bar Brassy by Doc’s Jack Sprat. He was bred by Ted Bellah of Newalla, Oklahoma.

Seven years of teamwork means understanding what the other partner is thinking, even when those thoughts are expressed loudly.

Nikki: “We talk to each other a lot when we’re riding. She yells at me all the time.”

Sarah: “That’s what you say, and I’m like, ‘Do you want me to stop it?’ and she’s like no, no.”

Niki: “I like it.”

Sarah: “She likes me to yell at her.”

Niki: “That’s what makes a good team.”

Sarah: “Every run’s different.”

Niki: “Like when (the cattle are) going to do something and she tells me to drive on one cow. She tells me what she’s thinking in a situation. Then it works out pretty good.”

Sarah knows what she's talking about. In addition to the world championship in amateur ranch sorting, she also won world championships November 6 in team penning and amateur team penning.