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Team Penning

Team penning is a rodeo sport in which teams of riders separate specific cattle from a herd and move them into a large rectangular pen. Each team has three participants on horseback. The team must move three specific cattle, which have been randomly selected out of a group of 30, into a pen (which measures 16x24 feet) at the other end of the rodeo arena. The remaining 27 cattle, also known as “trash” or “dirty cattle”, must be kept back and prevented from entering the pen. Due to the delicate task of identifying, selecting, and penning the cattle in under 90 seconds, it is important for the three participants to work together strategically.

What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Rodeo sports developed from cattle ranching tasks in the western United States. These sports became professionalized in the late 1800s as several major competitions, including the Calgary Stampede, were established. Their popularity has grown recently in the GTA, with upwards of 50 rodeo events taking place over the calendar year. The competitive sport of team penning began in the 1940s. After being approved as a rodeo sport, it quickly spread to Alberta and then other parts of Canada as part of rodeo tours.

Who takes part?

Males and females of diverse ages may participate, although many rodeo athletes are White adults from rural areas.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Rodeo competitions occur throughout the year. The Ontario High School Rodeo Association hosts several competitions throughout the school year. The Ontario Riding Association hosts professional and amateur rodeo events on a monthly basis. Professional rodeo circuits also host events in the GTA area occasionally during the year.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

The Ontario High School Rodeo Association; Ontario Rodeo Association; Canadian Rodeo Association

Cultural Significance

While rodeo sports do not hold cultural significance with specific ethnocultural groups, these activities and their associated “cowboy culture” can be viewed as symbolically important in some rural Canadian communities.

Is there anything else we should know?

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