Have you ever wondered if you were born during the wrong era? I had the opportunity to meet and photograph a great group of folks that compete at Ranch Sorting. It was necessary on Ranches to sort the cattle that needed branding. Now it is still used on larger ranches, vacations and for sport. Although it is competitive, the riders are so wonderful to one another. The cattle naturally want to stay with one another so they do not take kindly to be sorted away.
This group quickly made me feel welcome and talked to the judge about getting me a prime view so that I could get some quality captures. My spot was in the middle of the arena with the judge. We were protected from the horses and cows by some metal fencing. The judge did warn me at one point about a calf she was concerned about jumping the fence!! I did get some dirt "splashed" on me either from horses spinning or cattle attempting to leave the situation quickly.
There were a lot of lighting challenges because the arena was dark with the bright Florida light. It was great for the riders because it was pleasantly cool without the Florida sun beating down on them while they compete. All four pens had different lighting needs and I only had a few seconds between one heat before the next one began (for the most part).
It was a wonderful day and I was invited to bring Mike and try my hand at sorting. We sorted a very long time ago at Nemacolin Woodlands just for fun. Our first two heats were not that good at all because Mike kept looking back at me as if to say -you are sure that I can chase the cattle?? Yes Mike... please. Chase the cow. By the third heat, he was on it and we had some really great runs that night. I look forward to meeting up with this group any time. They remind me of the folks from my wagon train days that I miss very much!!
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with Love, Larissa