MSU horse judging team earns national recognition
Mississippi State University's horse judging team continues to earn honors in its first year of competition.
Clay Cavinder, equine specialist with the MSU Extension Service and associate professor in the MSU Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, coached the team for the recent American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma.
"We had individuals with outstanding scores, and our team place third among the 17 schools competing," Cavinder said. "MSU placed first in team performance. In the overall category, out of a possible 3,600 points, Mississippi State was only six points behind Reserve World Champion West Texas A&M University and 20 points behind the World Champion Team Oklahoma State University."
The top five overall teams were Oklahoma State, West Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Colorado State and Virginia Tech. The competition involved judging 12 classes of horses, with four horses in each class.
MSU students Hannah Miller of Starkville and Hannah Collins of Pontotoc earned individual honors. Miller was the high individual in performance, fifth high individual in reasons and fifth high individual overall. Collins was 10th high individual in performance and ninth high individual overall.
Other participants with MSU Collegiate Horse Judging Team included Ashley Palmer, a senior from Jackson; Carlee West, a senior from Brooklyn; MaeLena Apperson, a sophomore from Mocksville, North Carolina; Ashley Greene, a senior from Jacksonville, Florida; and Samantha Miller, a junior from Birmingham, Alabama. Graduate student Emily Ferjak of Killingworth, Connecticut, serves as the team’s assistant coach.
Earlier in the year, the team was named the Reserve Grand Champion Team (second place) at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, the largest horse show in the world.