Horse Judging Team winners at MTSU collegiate contest
The University of Georgia Animal and Dairy Science Department fielded a Horse Judging Team that competed in the Middle Tennessee State University Collegiate Contest in Murfreesboro, Tn. on March 17, 2017. Working through three halter classes and five performance classes that included trail, western pleasure, hunter under saddle, equitation and Tennessee Walking Horses, the team from UGA emerged to win the overall contest. The team also placed first in halter and performance judging. In the oral reasons competition, where competitors defend their class placings to an official, UGA finished second to Virginia Tech.
The five students making up the UGA team included: Kelsey Collins of Lawrenceville, Georgia, Samantha Ellis of Mechanicsville, Virginia, Trenton Fowler of Conyers, Georgia, Elise Fuxell of Duluth, Georgia and Kaitlyn Prince of Cumming, Georgia.
Individual recognition was frequent among the Bulldogs. Trenton Fowler was high individual overall in the contest after placing first in halter and second in performance judging and reasons. Kelsey Collins was second in halter judging and fourth overall. Samantha Ellis won performance judging and placed fourth in reason and fifth overall. Elise Fuxell was fifth in reasons while Kaitlyn Prince was fourth in performance judging. Only Trenton had ever competed in a judging contest before.
Although much of the preparation for the judging contests are on videos, farm visits were critical for the team’s success. The UGA Western Equestrian Team was helpful on the home front but on the way to Tennessee, the team enjoyed farm visits at Centurion Farm in Alpharetta, Ga. with hunters, KTR Farms in Adairsville, Ga. with Paints, and Bobby Richards Stable in Franklin, Tn. with TN Walking Horses. The team was greatly appreciative of the support and time shared with them before the contest.
The first collegiate horse judging team fielded in several years, the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science made the trip financially possible. As a faculty member coming on board last fall, Dr. Julia McCann coached the team to their success.