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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Virginia 4-H Horse Judging Team Successful at Arabian Nationals

Livestock Update, December 1996

Larry A. Lawrence, Animal and Poultry Sciences

The International Arabian Horse Association published the history of the Arabian Youth Judging Contest just before the 1996 winners were announced and asked "who will be next"? Virginia 4-H horse judging teams have played a prominent role in the 20 year history of the event and once again history repeated itself and Virginia took top honors in its division.

Since 1984 Virginia has won the National Arabian Judging Contest all but two years. This is a phenomenal record. The Arabian contest is always one of the largest contest in the country and this year was no exception. Almost 300 contestants on 68 teams represented every section of the country. The 4-H division was the largest and included 22 of the 68 teams.

Two teams traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for the October 18 contest. Both teams did very well placing first and eight overall. The first place team consisted of Jayson Haynes (Lee Co.), Amy Murphy (New Kent Co.), Kirsten Good and Sara Watson (Fauquier Co.). Individually Kirsten Good placed 5th overall. Kirsten placed 5th in performance and accumulated points in the halter and reasons division. Jayson Haynes was 6th overall, placing second in reasons and halter. Amy Murphy placed 5th in the reasons division and was in the top 20 out of 90 individuals in both other divisions. Sara Watson placed consistently at the top 20 in every division and in the overall.

The second team of Jennifer Durbin (Albemarle Co.), Dale Depriest (Wise Co.), Nicole Long and Emily Stowe (Clark Co.) represented Virginia well especially considering it was their first national contest with the state team. Jennifer Durbin and Dale Depriest placed in the top 20 overall. Jennifer placed 7th in reasons and just out of the top ten in performance. Dale placed 4th in the halter division. Nicole and Emily did well in all divisions and helped the team to an 8th place overall finish.

The judging contest was an intense test of knowledge and skill. Contestants began judging at 7:30 am and the contest lasted until 5:00 pm. During that long day they placed classes in Reining, English Pleasure, Western Pleasure, Show Hack, Hunter Pleasure, Mares, Geldings, Stallions and Half Arabians. After placing ten classes they presented their reasons to the judges. Everything is scored and each contestant and team are compared. While the work is hard the rewards are great. Members of the winning team divided $1000.00 in scholarship prizes. Each member of both teams won plaques, ribbons and trophies in recognition of a job well done. In addition, those doing exceptionally well received pairs of Ariat boots, tack, books, gift certificates and many other gifts from the generous sponsors of the contest.

Special thanks and recognition must be given to coaches and leaders for their contribution. Some of the coaches involved include: Dr. Arden Huff, Yvonne Miller, Kris Kipping, Elizabeth Rasnic, Sharon Livsie, Ruth Boden, Fae Herbert, and Bertha Durbin.

Participation in horse judging would not be possible if we did not have many generous donors that contribute so much to the success of the program. Our donors include: Joan Moore, Paul Mellon, George L. Ohrstrom, Taylor E. Gore, Joe Lewis Albritton, Mr. & Mrs. Samuel H. Rogers, Jr., Pat Stuart, Fred Campbell, Alan Kirshner, Dr. Janice Keyes-Clark, Hoof 'N Woof 4-H Club, Sture Olsson, Barbara Baird, Old Dominion Arabian Horse Association, Virginia Horse Council, Lewis Wiley, Northeast District Horse Show, Helen Groves, Kenneth Wheeler, Paige Burns, Helen Ueltzen, Peggy Augustus, Blacksburg Saddle Club, Blue Ridge Caballeros, Northern District Horse Council, Jim Brown and Ernest Oare.

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