Elite Team Penning Class

What is the Elite Team Penning Class?

The Elite Penning class is an USTPA Team Penning class that features $50,000 Guaranteed Minimum Cash Added to the class payout at the World Championship Finals, with the potential of $100,000 Added Money in just the Elite Penning class depending on the total number of teams entered at the Finals.

The Elite Penning class is also unique in that it pays the top 20 place winners at the World Championship Finals, and is set as a #10 class with a full one-second handicap, another new feature for a USTPA Team Penning class.

Riders can compete to qualify for the Finals at local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows throughout the USTPA competition season. The Elite Penning class will be offered at all local USTPA-sanctioned shows around the country, and will be a featured class at all USTPA World Championship Series shows.

How does the Elite Penning class work?

The Elite Penning class will be offered at every local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series show throughout the USTPA competition season.

Riders compete in the class at the various USTPA events throughout the competition season to qualify to ride in the class at the USTPA World Championship Finals.

The class is run as a #10 Handicap Team Penning class, with a full one (1) second handicap for every one (1) team rating point below the class number (e.g., combined team rider rating of 8 = 2 second handicap).

At every local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series show, and the World Championship Finals, the class features a 60% payback (of the base entry fee). The class may include Added Money in certain shows around the country, and will have a minimum of $50,000 Cash Added to the class payout at the World Championship Finals.

Who can enter the class at local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows?

All USTPA members in good standing with a Penning Rating of N through 7 may enter this class at any local, Regional Finals or World Championship Series show throughout the competition season.

How do I enter the class at local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows?

At any Local, Regional Finals or World Championship Series show, when you enter the Elite Team Penning class, you will enter it as you would any other Penning class. All the entered teams will be part of the qualifying for the Elite Team Penning class at the World Championship Series Finals. With each entry, the rider will receive their draw or draws plus the pick teams entered, and will pay the standard class entry and sanction fees, plus the Elite Class Fee for every team entered (including draws).

What does it cost to enter the Elite Penning class at local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows, including the World Championship Finals?

At any Local USTPA-sanctioned show, the maximum entry fee is $50, with a $7 per rider/ride Elite Class fee, plus $3.50 per rider/ride USTPA sanction fees.

The entry fee at Regional Finals is determined in advance and published on the show flyer, plus the $7 per rider/ride Elite Class fee and $3.50 per rider/ride USTPA sanction fees.

The entry fee at the World Championship Series shows is determined in advance and published on the show flyer, plus the $7 per rider/ride Elite Class fee and $3.50 per rider/ride USTPA sanction fees.

The entry fee for the Elite Penning class at the USTPA World Championship Series Finals is $125 per rider/ride, plus the standard $7 per rider/ride Finals fee.

How do teams that compete in the local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows qualify to enter the Elite Penning class at the World Championship Finals?

At all USTPA-sanctioned shows, the top 50% of the entered Teams Qualify for the Elite Penning class at Finals. However, in order to qualify, the team must have a time in the first round of the qualifying show in the Elite Penning Class (“no-times” in the first round cannot qualify).

What if I want to ride only the Elite Penning class at a show? Can I just enter and ride only the Elite Penning class?

No, to ride in the Elite Penning class at any show the rider must enter other penning and/or sorting classes at that show, as follows: At all Local USTPA sanctioned shows, the rider must ride in at least one other team penning or ranch sorting class at that show to also ride in the Elite Penning class at that show. At all Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows, the rider must ride in at least two other team penning and/or ranch sorting classes at that show to also ride in the Elite Penning class at that show. At the World Championship Series Finals, the rider must ride in at least two other team penning classes at that show to also ride in the Elite Penning class at the Finals.

Do my Team Penning rides in the Elite Penning class at local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows count toward the qualifying requirements to ride in the World Championship Finals?

Yes. The Elite Penning class may be used to meet the USTPA World Championship Finals Team Penning qualifying requirements (see Finals qualifying requirements).

Do I have to meet the overall (Team Penning) World Championship qualifying requirements to ride in the Elite Penning class at the World Championship Finals?

Yes. Riders must meet the overall (Team Penning) World Championship Finals qualifying requirements to enter any qualified teams in the Elite Penning class at the World Championship Finals. Also, you must ride in at least two other team penning classes at the Finals to also ride in the Elite Penning class at the Finals.

Is there any limit on how many teams I can qualify throughout the year to enter the Elite Penning class at the World Championship Finals?

Yes, and No. Any rider may qualify as many teams as they are able to when competing at the local, Regional Finals and World Championship Series shows.

However, no rider may enter more than 20 of their qualified teams in the Elite Penning class at Finals.

So, for example, a rider might qualify 25 teams during the competition season, but would only be able to enter 20 of those 25 teams.

Also, no team, with the same three riders on that team, may enter to ride (that exact team) more than 3 times in the Elite Penning class at the 2019 USTPA World Championship Series Finals.

To clarify, a team with the same three riders on that team could potentially “qualify” more than three times during the year, but that team with the same three riders may not “enter” more than three times at the World Championship Series Finals, no matter how many times it (the team) qualified during the season

When I enter my qualified pick teams at the World Championship Finals, are there also draw teams?

Yes. In addition to the pick teams that you qualify and enter at the Finals, you will receive a minimum of 2 draw teams, and will have the option to have as many as 4 draw teams. The draw teams are in addition to your qualified and entered pick teams.

Can I drop one or more of the teams that have been qualified for the Elite Penning class at Finals, and if so, what happens to my partners on the dropped team(s)?

Any rider on any Finals-Qualified team may drop the team if they determine for any reason they do not want to ride that team at Finals.

If a rider drops a team from their Finals-Qualified teams, the rider that dropped the team may not draw a team to replace it. However, the other two partners that did not drop the team (but were dropped) will both be offered draw options to replace the dropped team (Refer to the Draw Procedure on the 2019 World Championship Finals Entry Procedure document for additional details).

All draw teams resulting from dropped teams in this case are optional and are in addition to the 2 mandatory draws.

What happens if a Finals-Qualified team I am on is dropped by one or more of my Teammates on that team?

Any Finals-Qualified riders that have one or more of their teams dropped for any reason may draw one team for every team that was dropped. (Refer to the Draw Procedure on the 2019 World Championship Finals Entry Procedure document for additional details).

All draw teams resulting from dropped teams in this case are in addition to the 2 mandatory draws.

NOTE: Any rider that qualifies Elite Penning teams (at any show or shows during the competition season) but does not also qualify to compete in the World Championship Series Finals in Team Penning will forfeit all their previously qualified teams/rides in the Elite Penning.

In the Elite Penning class at the World Championship Finals, how many teams advance to the next round, up to and including the final round?

  1. First Round: All Qualified and Properly Entered Teams
  2. Second Round: 40% of First Round Advances to the 2nd Round
  3. Third Round: 40% of Second Round Advances to the 3rd Round
  4. Final Round: Top 20 (pays all 20 places). Top 20 runs as a Finals Class.
  5. Ride Position in the Finals (Top 20) determined by team selection, with leading team selecting their Finals ride position first, the 2nd place team coming into the Finals selecting their position next and so on through the top 20 teams.

What is the payout structure at the local, Regional Finals, World Championship Series shows and the World Championship Finals?

The payback at all shows including the World Championship Finals is 60% of the base class entry fees, not including sanction fees or Elite Class fees, plus any added money (if any is provided). The payout structure in the Elite Penning class at all shows (except the World Championship Series Finals) is as outlined in the USTPA Handbook for USTPA Team Penning classes.

Is “Fast-Go” money part of the class payout in the Elite Penning class?

Fast-Go Payout at Local USTPA-sanctioned events is sometimes included in the overall class payout but is at the individual Producer’s option.

Fast-Go Payout will be included in the Elite Penning class at Regional Finals, World Championship Series Shows and the World Championship Series Finals (except for the Elite Penning class).

In the Elite Penning Class at the World Championship Series Finals, 100% of the Payout in the class goes to the average (no Fast-Go payout in the Elite Penning class at Finals).

How and when do I provide my team entry information for my Finals-Qualified teams so I can ride in the Elite Penning class at the USTPA World Championship Finals?

Please refer to the 2019 World Championship Finals Entry Procedure document for details on submitting entries in the Elite Team Penning class.

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