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November 7-22, 2014, Oklahoma City

Amateur Team Penning

Lesh extended family takes the world championship after a big lead in the prelims.

Hybrows Tina Sparkle, Quixotes Dual Rey, Highbrows Catamandoo, Megan Walsh, Jordan Lesh and Sarah Anne Lesh

Megan Walsh, Sarah Anne Lesh and Jordan Lesh win the 2012 AQHA amateur team penning world championship. (Journal photo)

There was a $56,183 purse on the line for the amateur team penning finals November 6; 126 entries – 42 teams – had vied for the finals and a shot at the purse.

Coming out of the prelims, Megan Walsh of Morrison, Oklahoma; Jordan Lesh of Perry, Oklahoma; and Sarah Anne Lesh of Whitesboro, Texas, had the top time: three cattle penned in 19.891. The next fastest time was a 39.641.

“I was confident today,” Sarah Anne said in their Journal Winning Run interview. “Yesterday, Jordan went into the herd and pulled all three cows in one cut. So we had a pretty big lead coming in. We knew we just had to go out there, be consistent and run a nice, smooth, clean run and that’s what we did. It worked good.”

Last in the go, the team penned three cattle in 49.947, giving them a combined six cattle in 69.838 and the world championship.

“Jordan always starts our run; he kind of leads our team,” Sarah Anne said. “And then it just kind of plays out from there who goes second and who goes third, too. Jordan always starts our runs.”

It’s an extended family team – Sarah Anne is married to Jordan’s brother, Jared; Megan is the fiancée of Jamin Lesh.

The Lesh family has earned several AQHA world championships in team penning and ranch sorting in youth, open and amateur competition over the years. Sarah Anne’s world championships include the 2008 amateur team penning and ranch sorting, the 2009 amateur team penning and the 2010 ranch sorting. Jordan’s titles include 2007 and 2010 youth team penning world championships. Megan won the 2010 amateur team penning reserve world championship and the 2009 youth title in ranch sorting.

“It feels great (to win here),” Jordan said. “It’s my first win in the amateur, so I’m excited.”

Sarah Anne rode Highbrows Catamandoo, a 2007 bay stallion by High Brow Cat and out of Amanda Merada by Freckles Merada, bred by Strawn Valley Ranch of Strawn, Texas, and owned by her husband, Jared. It’s the horse’s first World Show appearance.

Megan rode her Hybrows Tina Sparkle, a 2001 bay mare by Smart Lil Highbrow and out of Docs Burgandy Krest by Docs Cinder Krest, bred by Cam or Lori Schryver of Ojai, California.

Jordan was on his brother, Joel’s, horse Quixotes Dual Rey, a 2004 sorrel gelding by Dual Rey and out of Quixotes Pretty Lady by Doc Quixote, bred by Wagon Trail Horse Farm, LLC, Carbondale, Colorado.

“(A good team penning horse has) got to be cowy and really responsive to what you’re doing; you don’t want a horse that’s running off with you,” Jordan said.

“And a good mind,” Sarah Anne added.

Megan agreed: “He’s got to have some ‘want to,’ wants to try for you.”    

Next week, the team is headed to the United States Team Penning Association finals November 12-17 in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

“Hopefully, we have just as much luck and good teamwork there,” Sarah Anne said.

“And we hope to be back here!” Megan said.

The world championship day is not over yet – at press time, Sarah Anne and Jordan were part of the open team penning world championship team, and there is open and amateur ranch sorting yet to go.