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The Face of the New USTPA

Nation’s largest not-for-profit team penning association launches new strategy for growth

(Wichita Falls, Texas) – Team penning isn’t the rough and tumble sport it once was but instead has grown into a sport that requires good horsemanship, skill and an ability to compete, a position the United States Team Penning Association (USTPA) is taking in launching a new marketing strategy to grow the sport. The USTPA, the largest not-for-profit team penning association in North America, represents a membership of more than 6,000 team penning enthusiasts and manages, through USTPA Productions, team pennings that offer more than $1.2 million in cash and prizes annually. And the faces of USTPA competitors represent people from rural to corporate environments.

Team penning requires a team of three riders to select three like-numbered cattle from a herd of 30 and move them to a small pen at the opposite end of the arena within a as little as a sixty second time period. Cattle in the herd are numbered 0 to 9, with three cattle bearing each of those numbers. A number glued to their backs indicates the selected cattle.

““USTPA is going to be working very hard to bring more attention to the sport of team penning, not only for its own growth, but also for the benefit of the entire sport,” said USTPA President Ronnie Gebauer, who also emphasized that team penning has a large base of support and participation, but is splintered among numerous regional groups.

“USTPA has developed a plan that will position it as the true umbrella sport federation for team penning and one that aggressively addresses the needs of team penners in North America and internationally,” he said. “It is becoming abundantly clear that team penning must create a unified voice in order to attract the attention currently enjoyed by other major sports in this country, including those related to the horse industry. USTPA will be that voice.”

Included in that plan is a member package designed to benefit affiliated team penning associations, producers and members while addressing their specific needs. The member benefit package for all categories includes a “less than U.S. dealer cost” discount Ford truck or vehicle buying program, wholesale long distance of 4.9 cents per minute, airfare discounts of 10% to 60%, Avis® car rental discounts, hotel discounts of 20%, and more.

Four categories of membership are offered by the USTPA and include Competitor or Affiliate members and Affiliate Association or Producer. Competitor members, as the name would suggest, are those who are eligible to compete in USTPA sanctioned events and qualify for its National Finals, which this year is offering a total package of more than $600,000 in cash and prizes. Affiliate members are eligible to receive all membership benefits but are not eligible to compete in USTPA sanctioned events, although they can easily upgrade to Competitor status. All members will receive an embossed card bearing their name, member number and member classification. Affiliate associations and producers, on the other hand, receive additional benefits to enable them to provide better customer service and benefits to their members or competitors.

“Simply put, it is USTPA's intent to make each local and regional association stronger, more valuable to attract new members, and to make the jobs of promoters, secretaries, arena owners and other suppliers vastly more efficient and ultimately more profitable,” said USTPA National Promotions Director Tom Britz.

Affiliate associations or producers are either a team penning or team sorting group, club or association, or a show promoter, secretary, arena owner/operator or other supplier. In addition to the member benefit package, the USTPA offers these groups protection against fraud and bad checks with access to the USTPA suspended persons list; tracking of all rider earnings, whether USTPA-sanctioned or not; and the opportunity to participate in the USTPA National Summit meeting each year.

“It is our belief that by making the local and regional associations stronger, it ultimately will make the sport stronger,” Britz continued. “As the national "federation" of team penning and team sorting, it is USTPA's job to facilitate that task.”

For more information about team penning or how to join the USTPA, contact Mark Toby, Executive Director, at 940-766-6838 or go the their website at



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