Logan Wolfe and Light N Liz, Kason Wolfe and Sumers Choice, and Haley Pavlick and Smart Sans Peach
by Holly ClanahanThe American Quarter Horse Journal
They call it team penning for a reason.
“It’s a team effort,” said 16-year-old Kason Wolfe, minutes after he won a gold trophy in team penning August 10 at the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show. His teammates were his brother, Logan, 18; and his girlfriend, Haley Pavlick, 17.
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The Colorado teens went into the team-penning finals sitting in first place in the preliminaries.
“We were just going to go nice and slow and get a solid time and see what happened,” Logan said. “Our game plan was, I was going to go first, and they were going to play sides on me, so whoever saw the next cow was going to go get it.”
With all three of them on board catty-quick cutting-bred horses, they penned six head (in the prelims and finals) in a total of 106.446 seconds. If you’ve ever watched team penning, you know that the secret to a successful run is communication – with riders often yelling directives at both the cattle and their teammates. Logan, Kason and Haley were no different.
“She yells at us a lot,” Kason said, joking with Haley. But in all seriousness, “It helps a lot,” he said, “if you don’t see a cow or (need to) tell them where to go or what the time is. You’ve got to communicate or else it doesn’t work.”
It’s something that all three teens have experience with; this team has been competing at the Ford Youth World together since 2011, when they placed third in team penning. In 2012, the three of them placed ninth in team penning, while Logan and Kason with a different team member were reserve world champions.
"We're moving right on up," Logan said.
All three have also had considerable success in ranch sorting and were qualified for the Ford Youth World finals performance in sorting August 10.
Logan and Kason say they’ve been competing in penning and sorting since they were 4 or 5. Their father, Dave Wolfe, is the founder of the Ranch Sorting National Championships, and “we go all over the place putting on shows,” Logan said. “It’s a fun and exciting sport, and anybody can do it.”
Haley estimated that she has been competing in penning since she was 9 or 10, and now the Wolfe family serves as her coaches.
“These guys tell me what I do wrong,” she said, laughing.
Haley’s mount was Smart Sans Peach, a 2005 daughter of Ill Be Smart, owned by Haley’s mother, Stephanie Ewoldt.
“I just love her to death,” Haley said. “She’s a big sweetheart … she wants to make friends with everybody. She’s very fast, and that’s what I like about her. I can put her anywhere, and I’ll guarantee she’ll get there. She just goes.”
Kason was on board Sumers Choice, a 2008 gelding by SR Instant Choice.
“I’ve had him for two years,” Kason said. “I bought him as a 3-year-old, and he was broke, and I’ve been training on him. … He’s real natural. We train our own horses and do all that.”
Logan was riding Light N Liz, a 2007 mare by Light N Lena.
“She’s really catty, she’s fun to ride,” Logan said, “probably the best horse I’ve got.”
Those cutting-bred horses “usually work the best for sorting and penning,” Logan said. “They’re cowy and you can just tell them where to go.”