West Texas A&M University’s Horse Judging team took top honors at the American Paint Horse Association Collegiate World Championship Horse Judging contest.
WT’s teams ranked No. 1 and No. 4 overall in the competition, held Sept. 23 in Fort Worth. The top team, which scored 1,887 points overall, also won first in halter and reasons, and second in the performance category. The second WT team, which scored 1,840 points, placed first in performance, fifth in reasons and 11th in halter.
“In these horse judging contests, student competitors evaluate and place horses in various halter and performance classes, then provide oral presentations, or reasons, to explain the rationale for their placing,” said coach John Pipkin, Equine Industry program director and Regent Professor of animal science. “Students develop extremely valuable skills in critical thinking, decision making and communication that should help them both professionally and personally.”
The two WT squads competed against 10 other regional universities, including Oklahoma State University (whose teams placed second, fifth and seventh) and Texas Tech University (whose team placed 10th).
“This is really a terrific performance by all of our students. They have been working diligently the last 4 1/2 months to prepare, and they represented WT exceptionally well in the competition,” Pipkin said.
In individual placings, Elena Chapa, a junior nursing major from Maple Park, Ill., placed first in all four categories.
Josh Worten, a junior pre-veterinary major from Lake Butler, Fla., placed fourth overall, second in halter and reasons, and sixth in performance.
Other individual rankings included:
- Reilly Dhaliwal, junior agribusiness-equine major from Boulder, Colo.: ninth in performance;
- Mollie Green, a senior animal science major from Broadview Heights, Ohio: seventh in performance and 11th overall;
- Hannah McLochlin, junior agriculture communications major from Plymouth, Ind.: second in performance, sixth in reasons and seventh overall;
- Lacy Petty, junior agriculture communications major from Adrian: 10th overall;
- Taylor Scheulen, agribusiness-equine major from Linn, Mo.: seventh in reasons;
The team also included Sierra Stammen, a junior agribusiness-equine major from Allen. Assistant coaches are Maggie Murphy and Baily Summers.
The horse judging team next will compete in reining and American Quarter Horse Association contests Nov. 7 and 9, respectively, at the AQHA World Championships in Oklahoma City.