Chatham County 4-H Horsekateers are Trifecta Champions

— Written By Bobbie McLean
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The 2023 NC State 4-H Horse Judging Contest was held on April 15, 2023 at Martin Community College in Williamston, NC. The Horse Judging Contest is designed to teach participants good conformation (structural correctness, balance, and muscling), breed character, and performance ideals in different breeds of horses. Additionally, the Horse Judging contest teaches participants how to evaluate horses based on knowledge and fact and defending their decisions. This contest is especially great for forming public speaking skills, decision-making, and confidence in a fast-paced environment. Participants learned horsemanship terms that were used in a logical, systematic way to defend placings that helped them to gain confidence in their ability and use of the English language by giving oral reasons to a judge while learning to speak clearly, decisively, and convincingly with oral reasons.

Horsekateers 2023 NC State Judging participants

These youth practiced weekly at their club leaders’ home to learn how to judge hunter, western, and gaited disciplines. The youth participants judged nine classes of horses and in turn are essentially judged on their ability to judge horses. After judging the classes, they wrote “oral reasons”, which is a justification of why they placed the class the way they did (for example, they could say they preferred the buckskin over the bay because the buckskin bay broke gait several times throughout the class). They memorize these reasons and present them to an official within thirty minutes, which is very hard for the juniors!

2023 Horsekateers Senior Team

The 2023 Horsekateers Senior Team: Samantha Durham, Austen Stinson-Miller, club leaders Mary Dickerson and Ruthy Vorder-Bruegee, Sara Richardson, and Kyra Worth

The Senior Team consisted of Samantha Durham, Austen Stinson-Miller, Sara Richardson, and Kyra Worth were CHAMPIONS making this a trifecta (a run of three wins or grand events) with Hippology, Bowl and Judging Championships.

Individual Placings are:

Overall: Samantha Durham 2nd, Austen Stinson-Miller 5th, Kyra Worth 10th and Sara Richardson 11th

Halter: Samantha Durham 4th, Sara Richardson 8th and Austen Stinson-Miller 9th (only placed to 10th)

Performance: Samantha Durham 2nd, Austin Stinson-Miller 3rd, Kyra Worth 4th (only placed to 10th)

Reasons: Samantha Durham 2nd, Kyra Worth 5th, Austin Stinson-Miller 6th (only placed to 10th)

The Junior Team did not place; however it was their very first time
competing at this contest which again, just competing shows confidence!

Junior results are as follows:

  • Grace Matthews was 15th in halter and 17th in reasons.
  • Hannah Oberman was 11th in Performance and 19th overall.
  • Brooke Peterson was 18th in performance.
  • Claire Stoeckel was 23rd in halter
  • Mary McLaughlin competed as a Junior Rookie and placed 9th overall.

We are very proud of these youths and their club leaders!

More information on the horse judging contest