Lithia ranch sorting competition kicks off this weekend

Image 1 of 3

Like many of the great rodeo sports, ranch sorting was born out of everyday ranch work. 

Often times, cowboys would have to separate cattle into pens for branding, medical checks, or transport so it only makes sense they would want to find out who could do it the fastest.

The Bay Area has its very own arena for the sport. The Florida Ranch Sorting Arena is located in Lithia and hosts a competition every month from October through May. 

A standard run consists of 10 cattle numbered 0 through 9, a team of two riders, and 60 seconds on the clock. 

To start, the announcer draws a number and starts the clock. 

The teams must sort the cattle into a separate pen beginning with the number announced and continuing sequentially. 

The cattle are fast, the riders must be faster, and the whole thing ends when a wrong numbered cow crosses or the clock runs out.

You can see the action in person for free each month at the Florida Ranch Sorting Arena. December’s match is set for Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 beginning at 10 a.m. and going until all competitors have finished. The arena is located at 2423 Welcome Road, Lithia, Florida, 33547

To learn more visit