It’s been several years since any senior college horse judging team has been able to snag the triple crown of collegiate horse judging. With determination and hard work, the WTAMU Horse Judging team hopes to snag the title away from the competition.
“These students are extremely dedicated and hard working,” Dr. John Pipkin, equine program director and head coach of the WT Horse Judging team, said. “To become champions takes a great deal of effort and commitment, which they have definitely demonstrated.”
The three major judging competitions include the All American Quarter Horse Congress, the American Quarter Horse World Championship show and the National Reining Horse Championships. Teams must win all three in order to be dubbed Triple Crown winners.
“Not only are they still responsible for being outstanding academically, they invest many hours in their preparation. I have the greatest respect and appreciation for those that have decided to work at becoming a champion.”
The WT team spends endless hours a week practicing, representing WT nationwide and bringing success year after year.
“This is a full-time commitment,” Kayla Wells, junior Agriculture Communications major and last year’s World Champion Horse judger, said. “Each of us team members put in countless hours of practice because we believe in our success and we love this. We definitely want to win the three big contests this fall and I think with our work ethic and talent it’s a possibility. We will not be outworked that’s for sure.”
With a total of 34 world championships, 33 national championships and an expert coach this team has all of the tools necessary to win it all.
“I am so excited for this years team,” Assistant Coach Christa Forsberg said. “They are an absolutely amazing group of girls that have the talent and potential to win all of the contests. They are dedicated and passionate and deserve only the best.”
The team is made up of members from all over the country and with a variety of skill levels. According to Dr. John Pipkin, anyone interested and ready to commit to a semester of extreme time management, hard work and devotion can be a part of the horse judging team.
“As a new judger on the team I’m looking forward to, and I’m excited, for the upcoming season,” Lindsey McNeil, junior Equine Business major, said. “So far it has been a great learning experience with a great team. We’re all ready to win the three big contests this year.”
For their next competition, the team is preparing for the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.