Penning finds new home

Another deal has been signed to bring a long-standing event to the ag event centre.

Another deal has been signed to bring a long-standing event to the ag event centre.

A three-year contract was struck by the Alberta Team Cattle Penning Society’s (ATCPS) to host their 20th Classic Team Penning Championship in Ponoka.

Grant Sterling, chairman of the penning classic committee, said several factors created their move from Northlands in Edmonton. “We’re really looking forward to working with the community of Ponoka.”

Sterling said dirt quality was one of the reasons they decided to move but he also feels the central location of the ag centre will bring more people to the championship. There were three locations the championship committee considered: Red Deer, Calgary, “and of course Ponoka.”

He also feels agriculture is a big part of the community and those in the industry understand their needs. The ag centre’s age also helped sway his decision as well as “working with an organization who wants to work for us rather that against us.”

The close proximity of the barns played a role in their decision as well since livestock can be moved fairly easily and quickly.

“There’s lots of future plans for the facility and we want to be a part of that,” said Sterling.

His hope is to eventually add a spring event to their championships.

Work with Linc Drynan, a director of the Ponoka Agriculture Society (PAS) helped bring this deal to fruition.

Sherry Gummow, president of PAS and vice-president of the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society, said the ag event centre hosted some penning events in the last eight months and Sterling had been to some. Since Ponoka’s ag centre is dedicated entirely to agricultural events Gummow feels that makes it more desirable to ag groups.

“They (ATCPS) wanted to be in a facility that understood the sport they’re in,” she added.

She believes competitors from the United States and British Columbia as well will try out in the event.

Usually more than 200 competitors come to this championship and approximately 250 horses are used in the penning championship.