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Cow Sense

With an APHA world championship and other ranch sorting honors under her belt, trainer Shelley Fitzgerald knows how to find success in this event. Following are some tips she’s gathered to help you conquer the cows in your next sorting, too.

  • Take the good cow in the direction it’s going.
  • Don’t split the herd.
  • Move up in the gate so the trash cattle can see you quicker.
  • Focus on good cows when sorting; focus on trash cows when you’re in the gate.
  • Just because you’re sitting in the saddle, don’t forget that your legs still work.

We’ll continue to bring you more ranch sorting tips from Shelley this year, so continue to watch the Flash website for more to come.



Meet Shelley Fitzgerald
Shelley Fitzgerald started riding at age 3 and competed in her first show at age 6; now, she owns and operates a ranch sorting facility in Yukon, Oklahoma. A high-school rodeo champion, Shelley attended El Reno Junior College. Shelley helped found the Oklahoma Team Penning Association and the United States Team Penning Association.

A ranch sorting champion herself, Shelley’s students and horses have earned ranch sorting championships as well. Among her star students is Fanci Painted Dually, a 2005 bay tobiano mare by Duals Cow Smart (QH) and out of Decaturs Cherokee, with whom Shelley earned a 2013 APHA Ranch Sort world championship; owner DeRoy White, the mare’s owner, also won an Amateur Ranch Sorting world championship the same year. Learn more at shelleyfitzgerald.com.

About Flash
Flash is an annual publication produced by the American Paint Horse Association that celebrates Paint Horses excelling in timed events—racing, barrel racing, roping, shooting and sorting/penning—along with the people who love them. Check out our free digital magazine at MyFlashyRide.com or pick up a printed copy of Flash at major events across the country. And check MyFlashyRide.com/news often for the latest news about fast, flashy Paints.