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Sorting to the Top

Photography by Larry Williams Photography

Practice made perfect for two teams at the 2015 APHA World Championship Show, which took place November 4–14 in Fort Worth, Texas. Teams were not only sorting for a big payday, but also in the hopes of being crowned world champions in Open and Amateur ranch sorting.

First up on November 14 was the Open Ranch Sorting Sweepstakes, where Jim Bridwell and Matt Gibbens proved triumphant in the class of 10. Jim’s mount for the class was Dang Good Candy, a 2006 palomino overo gelding by Ducelena (QH) and out of See My Smoke. Matt rode PJC Color Me Catty, a 2006 bay tobiano gelding by Color Me Smart and out of Little Cat Nap (QH).

Matt is no stranger to the APHA World Show; he previously won the Amateur Ranch Sorting Sweepstakes and world championship at the 2013 World Show with Deroy White and was second in the same class in 2014.

“I met Jim at the first Ranch Sorting National Championship finals I went to. We ride together whenever we’re at the same shows,” Matt said. “We just went in and tried to get a time. The cows were good, and you could turn them. It was awesome to win a world championship in Open Ranch Sorting. I was tickled.”

In the Amateur Ranch Sorting Sweepstakes, Colt Miller and Jacki Jo Parks topped off a successful weekend with a win, topping 14 total exhibitors in the class. Colt rode Twister Royal Pepto, a 2011 sorrel tobiano gelding by Pepto Flyer and out of Sweet Royal Treasure; Jacki Jo rode Smart Lil Smokin Gun, a 2007 brown tobiano mare by Color Me Smart and out of Dualin Breeze.

“Jacki Jo and I have been sorting together at the Paint Performance Horse Super Stakes shows, so we knew each other. We stuck to our game plan that we’ve been doing all year long. We rode in there, and I crossed the line just smooth and easy and just made it a clean run,” Colt said.

The win capped an extraordinary World Show for Colt and “Twister”—they captured three Amateur world championships and a win in the Cowtown ShootOut #8 Pick Draw that also netted them the $2,500 Paint Horse incentive bonus check. With Kinzy Donnelly and James Barton, Twister also earned a number of world and reserve world championship titles and the show’s Reserve Super Gelding award.

“That was the cherry on top of the whipped cream,” Colt said. “We’d done so many classes, and to make that the fourth world title that we’d put on Twister in four days was pretty cool to finish it off.”


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Flash is an annual publication produced by the American Paint Horse Association that celebrates Paint Horses excelling in timed events—racing, barrels 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.