March 24, 2018
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Team penning event to be held in Charleston this weekend

CHARLESTON, Maine — Central Maine Team Penning Association, which competes throughout Maine and New England, is holding a penning event on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6 and 7.

Team penning is an event using horsemanship to corral cattle.

“I’ve fallen in love with it,” Barry Higgins of Maple Lane Farms, which is hosting the event, said Wednesday.

Riders of all ages from youths to seniors and of all levels of experience compete. The competition pits thirty cattle against three riders to determine if the riders can pull the right three cows from the herd, push them down the arena, and put them in the pen faster than any of the other teams. Riders are successful when the cattle are penned.

Central Maine Team Penning Association was established in 1995 by a group of equestrians dedicated to increasing the popularity of this challenging and fast-growing sport. The club holds numerous competitions at the Bangor fair, Skowhegan fair, Farmington fair, and Windsor fair.

Maple Lane Farms has built a 100-foot-by-200-foot arena and training facility.

“It is quite an expansion thing we’ve built here,” Higgins said. The association formerly was located in Leeds, but will now train in Charleston. “This is the first time they really have had a permanent location.”

This weekend’s events begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday and include sorting and penning competitions. Higgins expects 60 teams to arrive from New England and Canada. There is limited space for overnight camping, he added.

Higgins said bleacher space is limited and viewers may want to bring their own lawn chairs. Admission is $2 a person or $5 a car load and a concession stand will be on site.

Maple Lane Farms is located off Route 11A in Charleston. It is a diversified farm which raises beef and dairy cattle, hay, corn, barley and has its own state-certified slaughter facility.

For more information on team penning, go to

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