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Nearly 150 College Students Gather for APHAs Seventh Annual Judging Contest

FORT WORTH, Texas-The American Paint Horse Associations (APHA) Intercollegiate Horse Judging Spring Sweepstakes attracted 146 students from 21 colleges and universities from around the country to compete at this years annual contest. The contest sponsored by Hart Trailerswas held April 24 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

The students, divided into junior and senior college divisions, judged a variety of Paint horses in 12 classes and delivered four sets of reasons at the competition sponsored by Hart Trailers. The events judged included five halter classes and seven performance classestrail, Western pleasure, horsemanship, Western riding, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation and hunter hack.

The student judges evaluate each horse on physical appearance, structure and way of moving during the halter classes, while each performance class has a specific set of rules outlined regarding the evaluation of the event.

APHA continues to host this event each year because we recognize the opportunities it brings to these young, aspiring judges, said Trigg Rentfro, APHAs managing director of performance, racing and international departments. The contest provides a hands-on approach to test their knowledge gained in the classroom, and also promotes the idea of earning a judges card, which in turn benefits the horse industry as a whole.

The day-long event concluded with an awards dinner, held at APHAs headquarters in Fort Worth, and honored the top collegiate judges at the contest.

Overall Championship Teams

The Senior College High Team Overall winner was awarded to Kansas State University and consisted of team members Kally Hood, Kaitlyn Crow, Kindra Gradert, Anna Pesta, Billy Brown and coach Julie Voge. The Manhattan, Kan., team and coach were awarded rosettes, six APHA bags and Gist Silversmith belt buckles, along with a championship trophy. The top team finished first in each of the three categorieshalter, performance and oral reasons.

The Senior College Reserve High Team honors went to Middle Tennessee State University. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., team consisted of members Katherine Rickert, Shayna Taylor, Emily Cavendar, Rachel Lampley, Mary Wilson and coach Dave Whitaker. For their efforts they each received rosettes, APHA photo albums and judging portfolios.

Black Hawk College, located in Kewanee, Ill., defended its title this year as the Junior College High Team Overall winner. Team members consisted of Jake Becker, Sarah Moentmann, Chelcei Fischer, Natalie Hart and coach Aaron Callahan. Also placing first in overall performance events and oral reasons, their championship awards included rosettes, five APHA bags and Gist Silversmith belt buckles, along with a championship team trophy.

The Junior College Reserve High Team Overall winners were the team from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, Okla. Coached by Shannon Cunningham, team members Amanda Burrows, McKenzie Nygren, Wade Williams and Kristi Wright-Burton were awarded rosettes, five APHA photo albums and judging portfolios for their efforts.

High Individuals

Kindra Gradert from Kansas State University received the Senior College High Individual honors. She also had the highest scores in overall oral reasons and overall performance events. For her championship efforts, Gradert took home a Paint Horse Journal subscription, rosette, trophy and coffee table book, The American Paint Horse: A Photographic Portrayal, by Darrell Dodds and David R. Stoecklein.

Gradert also received an array of other awards for her top placings in both oral reasons and performance events.

Anna Pesta, also from Kansas State University, won the Senior College Reserve High Individual award. Pesta placed directly behind champion teammate Gradert in overall oral reasons and overall performance events, as well.

In the Junior College division, Chelcei Fischer from Black Hawk College was awarded High Individual honors and received a Paint Horse Journal subscription, rosette, trophy and coffee table book, The American Paint Horse: A Photographic Portrayal, by Darrell Dodds and David R. Stoecklein.

Fisher also placed first in the Junior College overall performance events and received several other awards for her accomplishment.

Kristi Wright-Burton from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M finished behind Fischer, earning the Junior College Reserve High Individual honors.

More about APHA

Currently, American Paint Horses are being registered at APHAs Forth Worth, Texas, headquarters at a rate of about 40,000 horses each year. APHA has registered nearly 900,000 horses in 49 nations and territories since it was founded 45 years ago, and now serves 100,000 active members around the world. Among its many activities, APHA works to preserve bloodlines and maintain the outstanding characteristics of the American Paint Horse breed.

For more information about APHA, contact the association at 817-834-2742, or visit apha.com.



PHOTO: The Junior College High Team Overall winner was Black Hawk College East, located in Kewanee, Ill. Pictured here are (from left) Hart Trailers representative Tracy Graham, along with teammates Jake Becker, Sarah Moentmann, Chelcei Fischer, Natalie Hart, teaching assistant Kayla Lee and Coach Aaron Callahan. Photo courtesy of Kayla Starnes/APHA.

 

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