Not horsing around
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
February 5, 2014
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From left, Zack Cisco, Larry Keith and Evans City resident Bob Jamison sit on their horses after earning first place in team penning at the Denver Stock Show.

EVANS CITY — Bob Jamison knows horses.

He knows how to shoe them, he knows their teeth, he knows how to ride them. And he knows how to win with them.

Jamison, 57, of Evans City recently returned from Colorado, where he teamed with two others to win the team penning competition at the prestigious Denver Stock Show. They competed in the 86-team pro-amateur-novice division.

Jamison was the amateur. Good friend Zack Cisco of Arizona was the novice while Larry Keith of Virginia was the pro.

“Larry and I met through horse shows and we ride to a lot of the local shows together,” Jamison said.

Jamison and his wife, Katie, own six horses. He competes in about two shows a month, but few match the caliber of the Denver event.

“There were teams there from all over the country and Canada,” he said. “You just have to work through.”

A team penning unit involves three individuals riding horses and having to corral specifically-numbered cattle and lead them into a pen located on the other side of the arena as quickly as possible. Cattle are given a number from 0 to 9 and a team draws one number. It must locate and corral the three cattle matching that number.

The fastest 30 percent of the teams qualify for the second round with the top 10 teams advancing to the finals.

“A professional bull riding event was part of the Denver show and the finals were held as part of that show,” Jamison said. “We competed in front of 15,000 to 18,000 people. It was very exciting.”

This wasn’t the first time the Jamisons have basked in the spotlight. Two years ago, their now 11-year-old bay mare, Somebodys Riata, won her second world title in as many years at the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship in Oklahoma City.

Somebodys Riata placed sixth in last year’s AQHA world competition.

Jamison has been shoeing horses for 40 years and has been a horse dentist for 30 years. He began competing in local shows in 2000 and has been competing at the national level for seven years.

Sometimes his own horses participate in the shows, sometimes he rides other owners’ horses.

“I rode one of Zack’s horses in Denver,” Jamison said. “For me to bring one of my own out there, you’re looking at a 23-hour drive with the possibility of hitting snow storms ... Too many things can go wrong.

“When I’m out west, I ride one of his horses. When he’s out this way, he rides one of mine. It’s much easier that way.”

Jamison figures to compete in more national shows in the coming years. After serving a second two-year term as director of Region 8, ranging from Virginia to Canada, Long Island to western Ohio, he is now president-elect of the U.S. Team Penning Association.

“I’ll feel obligated to do more of the bigger shows,” he admitted.

Not that he minds it.

“It was always on my bucket list to do national shows,” Jamison said. “We’ve had a lot of fun with them and we’ve met some wonderful people along the way.”