2015 AQHYA World Show

July 31-August 8, 2015
Oklahoma City

2012 Youth World

Ranch Sorting

Living in the present pays off for AQHYA champs Whitney Lynch and Carrie Dean.

Going into the ranch sorting finals August 11 at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, Carrie Dean and Whitney Lynch had a lot on their minds.

Their team was sitting in first going into the final sorting performance, so they knew they had a good shot at taking home a gold trophy. And they each had to put the just-completed team penning finals out of their minds. Carrie and Whitney had ridden different horses and on different teams in the penning – and with different results. Carrie’s team suffered a heart-breaking no-time (but still placed 10th), while Whitney was on the world championship team-penning squad.

That’s a lot to forget about, but Carrie, 16, said they had to do just that.

“You can’t think about what you’ve already done; you have to move forward,” she said.

Their game plan? Ride like they always do.

“We were coming in sitting in the top, so we just had to take care of it and ride normally,” Carrie said.

The two girls live about eight hours from each other (Carrie is from Jackson, Mississippi, and Whitney is from Whitesboro, Texas), so they don’t practice together except at shows, about five times a year.

Nevertheless, it works

“We’ve ridden together, like I said, all our lives,” Carrie said.

It helps that both of them are well-connected to team penning and ranch sorting professionals.

Whitney, 18, who has already graduated from high school, rides with Jared and Sarah Lesh. Jared is a multiple AQHA and AQHYA world champion in the two events. Carrie’s brother-in-law is trainer Dustin Johnson, who has an AQHA reserve world championship in both penning and sorting.

Plus, both Carrie and Whitney are old pros. Carrie was on the youth world champion team penning team in 2010 and 2011, and Whitney won a youth world championship in team penning in 2006. This marked their first ranch sorting win at the Youth World Show.

Carrie was on board her father, Rick’s horse, Tuff N Hickory, a 13-year-old son of Smart Little Bingo.

“He’s really big, which makes me look really small, but he’s really cowy, and I really like him,” Carrie said.

Whitney was riding Ittybitty Kitty Mate, a 10-year-old Smart Mate mare she purchased earlier this year from Jared.

“She’s a nut, she’s crazy,” Whitney said. “She’s just real high-strung and hyper.” But cowy? “Very! She’s really cowy in the gate. That’s my favorite place to have her, in the gate.”

It worked, as the duo was the only one to sort 16 cows in the two combined go-rounds.

Carrie wanted to thank her parents, Peggy and Rick Dean; and her sister and brother-in-law, LeeAnn and Dustin Johnson. Whitney offered thanks to Jared and Sarah, as well as friend Paige Westfall.

2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA Ranch Sorting World Champions Whitney Lynch and Carrie Dean

2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA Ranch Sorting World Champions Whitney Lynch and Carrie Dean