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Sorting Skills

APHA world champion ranch sorting and top trainer Shelley Fitzgerald shares six more tips for success in your next ranch sorting event.

  • Isolate your cow on the wall.
  • Use your cowside rein and leg.
  • In the herd like a lamb, at the gate like a lion.
  • Be in charge of your cows; dictate where they go. Don’t be a follower.
  • Keep your head up—watch the whole picture.

Read more of Shelley’s tips in Part 1 and Part 2 on Flash.


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.