Zac Moore is the Australian champion under 12 ranch sorter

Zac Moore with his two horses and the fruits of his labour from a successful season of ranch sorting. He is the national under 12 champion.
Zac Moore with his two horses and the fruits of his labour from a successful season of ranch sorting. He is the national under 12 champion.

ZAC Moore is the best under 12 ranch sorter in the nation.

This was confirmed from a lengthy series of events as far afield as Long Flat, Merriwa, Dubbo and Blayney over 12 months, in between breaks due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns.

Zac usually competes with his dad, Brian. They live on a property at Killawarra and as such, he's riding horses most days a week.

Ranch sorting, for the uninitiated, is a timed event where riders are rated in a 9 point system that is based on statistical performance.

"Ranch sorting is typically a two-man team sorting 10 cattle numbered 0-9 and 1 unnumbered cow for a total of 11 head,'' the explanation continued

Basically, the rider has to get the cattle into an adjoining pen in the correct order. The quicker that's achieved, the more points gained.

As a junior rider Zac had 60 seconds to complete the drill. He won the national under 12 championship by 25 points accumulated over the season.

The sport is gaining a hold around Australia, however, COVID scuttled plans to have all the riders together for the national final. Instead the championship went to Zac as he was the rider with the most points.

Around 40 riders took part in the under 12 class.

Under the championship rules, Zac and his dad could only compete together five times. For the rest of the events another adult rider worked the gate for him.

"Good horses and understanding cattle,'' Zac and Brian agree is the key to success in the sport.

Zac started ranch sorting about two years ago. He was camp drafting originally, however, the ongoing drought cut into the number of cattle available and from there the family was introduced to ranch sorting.

Zac has qualified for the world titles to the held in the US next year, but it is unlikely the family will be going, despite the riches on offer there. However, riding in America remains an ambition.

Zac still dabbles in camp drafting along with team penning, although he prefers ranch sorting.

A club has been formed in Wingham and the plan is the get more events started on the coast to cut down the amount of travel required.

The new season has already started, however, Zac's efforts last campaign mean he's now a graduated two rated junior rider, bordering on a three rating, meaning he will have to ride against older competitors.

But that doesn't phase Zac. He's looking forward to more competition in 2022 when, hopefully, COVID won't cause as many interruptions.