WWU Equestrian Judging Team Captures National Award

Judging champsA William Woods University horse judging team recently beat out more than a dozen collegiate teams, including Texas A&M, to win the Collegiate Overall Highpoint Team and the L.V. “Cy” Tirell Award at the Morgan Grand Nationals in Oklahoma City.


Texas A&M took second, with Mississippi State in third place, to round out the top three collegiate teams at the contest.  Approximately 55 students from 13 colleges and universities were involved in the competition Oct. 16.


“Winning against A&M in horse judging is a little like beating the Yankees,” Jennie Petterson, WWU equestrian science instructor and coach of the judging teams, said. “We’ve never done it before, and this is the second time that a WWU team has won an overall collegiate team highpoint at a major contest.” 


WWU sent three teams, including freshmen who had no prior judging experience. All three teams from William Woods placed in the Collegiate Overall High Point competition.  In addition, WWU equestrian students won a first-place individual award, two second-place awards and an eighth place.


Team Green, consisting of Caitlin Ferguson of Las Cruces, N.M.; Heather Sim of Vernon Hills, Ill.; Nicole Silkey of East Hartland, Conn., and Mandi DeBerry of Florissant, Mo., placed first in the Collegiate Overall High Point competition and earned the L.V. “Cy” Tirell Award.


Team White, consisting of Maria Gudger of Portland, Ore.; Katy Dury of Greenwood, Ind.; Melanie Crum of Sharpsburg, Ga., and Shannah Brown of Kearney, Mo., placed ninth.


Team Maroon, consisting of Jayme Billings of Dallas Center, Iowa; Isabelle Hilgers of Warrenville, Ill.; Kristen Asher of Deckerville, Mich., and Kelsi Keith of Ottumwa, Iowa, placed 10th.


In both the Collegiate Performance Division Team and the Collegiate Performance Division Individual, WWU placed first and second.


Team Green won the Collegiate Performance Division Team, with Team White taking second. In Collegiate Performance Division Individual, Melanie Crum placed first, and Heather Sim placed second. 


In the Collegiate Overall High Point Individual (a combination of all scores in the contest, with the top 10 students placing), Melanie Crum placed second and placed eighth.


The teams judged eight individual classes, giving four sets of oral reasons for their decisions. The classes were Morgan Mares in Hand, Morgan Geldings in Hand, Morgan Mares 2 in Hand, Morgan Geldings 2 in Hand, Pleasure Driving, Hunter Pleasure, Road Hack and Western Pleasure.



CUTLINE: The William Woods University horse judging teams show off their ribbons.