William Woods Horse Judging Team Hosts Clinic for Youth

Youth 4H and FFA judging teams participate in a judging clinic at William Woods University.
Youth 4H and FFA judging teams participate in a judging clinic at William Woods University.

The William Woods University horse judging team hosted a judging clinic Feb. 13 to teach youth 4H and FFA judging teams to be better judges.

“The WWU Judging Clinic was a great success,” Liz Haben, Western clinical instructor, said. “Not only did the judging team put on an excellent and informative clinic, but it was also our first year to actually host a practice competition with awards to three different divisions including advanced, intermediate and rookie.”

Winners of the judging practice competition are (left to right) Justin Eddy, advanced; Maelea Parrish, intermediate; and Ashley Hrdina, rookie.
Winners of the judging practice competition are (left to right) Justin Eddy, advanced; Maelea Parrish, intermediate; and Ashley Hrdina, rookie.

Winners from each division were Justin Eddy of Rocheport, Missouri, advanced; Maelea Parrish of Thompson, Missouri, intermediate; and Ashley Hrdina of Columbia, Missouri, rookie.

“Being a part of the clinic was just a really great experience,” Ashley Larkins, a senior from Fort Lupton, Colorado, said.  “It gave the WWU judging team an awesome and fun opportunity to give back to the community.”

She added, “I remember pausing for a moment to look around and seeing the bright faces eating up every ounce of knowledge that they could manage and being overwhelmed that I was a part of it all.  Being a part of this team and doing things like this makes me so proud and grateful.”

The clinic included a halter section in the morning, featuring how to judge balance, structure, muscle, quality, type and travel.  There also were judging demonstrations for pleasure and horsemanship classes.

After lunch, breakout sessions emphasized how to set up and give oral reasons. The clinic concluded with a mini judging competition consisting of five different classes for the youth to practice their newly learned skills.

“The judging clinic was a huge success this year, and we were happy to be able to host our first actual contest,” Marissa Boster, a junior from Girard, Illinois, said. “We could not have done it without the volunteers, and hopefully we have another great clinic and contest next year.”