Michigan horse judging programs have big success in 2015

Michigan 4-H and MSU horse judging teams have had success on a national stage in 2015.

The Cass County 4-H Horse Judging Team placed sixth overall nationally out of a very competitive group of teams.
The Cass County 4-H Horse Judging Team placed sixth overall nationally out of a very competitive group of teams.

The Michigan State University Horse Judging program has been a staple of MSU’s Animal Science Department for many years, and 2015 was no exception. The 2015 team of eight students that I coach just finished out a strong competition season. In addition, the Michigan 4-H Horse Program is extremely proud of the success of the Cass County 4-H Horse Judging Team coached by Robin Brenneman.

The MSU Horse Judging Team is the only collegiate horse judging team in the state of Michigan. Competitive horse judging is a fantastic experience that allows team members to gain communication skills, confidence, networking, equine knowledge and much more through traveling to and competing in intercollegiate and 4-H horse judging contests. Each fall, the MSU Horse Judging Team competes at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, as well as the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, they placed 10th in the halter judging division out of an extremely competitive field of 21 teams. At the Arabian/Half-Arabian U.S. Nationals, they took home Reserve High Senior Team Overall. The team was first in the performance division and second in halter. Notable individual awards include 10th in halter judging from Samantha Augusta. Additionally, Karley VanWormer finished first in performance and second individual overall, a very impressive finish! The 2015 team was comprised of Samantha Augusta, Rebecca Bannan, Paige Bittner, Alycia Drwencke, Torie Liniarski, Hannah Rawza, Karley VanWormer and Cassandra Wade. Teaching assistants were Erin Verschuere and Alexa Schulte.

The Michigan 4-H Horse Judging Team, based out of Cass County, consisted of Amy Wyse, Allison Ives, Emily Prugh and Cameron Hayden. The team, by placing first at the Michigan 4-H Equine Educational Expo, earned a spot to represent Michigan 4-H Horse Programs at the 4-H Eastern National Roundup in Lexington, Kentucky. In Kentucky, the team competed against 4-H teams from around the nation, some much more seasoned competitors. The team placed fourth in conformation, fourth in performance, fifth in reasons and an incredible sixth overall! Individual awards were won as well. Emily Prugh placed fourth in conformation and fourth individual overall. Cameron Hayden placed seventh in oral reasons. These accomplishments truly show the strength of the Michigan 4-H Horse Program and we couldn’t be prouder to have these youth in our organization.

The MSU Horse Judging Team will again be organizing the Fifth Annual Hoofin’ it for Horses 5K Run/Walk at the MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center. This event, which is the team’s biggest fundraiser, will be held April 3, 2016, and is open to the public.

Interested in starting a 4-H horse judging team? Check out this useful Michigan State University Extension article, “How to start a 4-H horse judging team.” Also, be sure to also “Like” the Michigan 4-H Horse Leaders Facebook page for up-to-date information on state-level horse programs and events.

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