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APHA Contest draws students from 16 universities and junior colleges
More than 100 equine students receive "higher education" on horse judging from American Paint Horse Association

FORT WORTH, Texas-Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Okla., took top honors April 21 in the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) Intercollegiate Horse Judging Spring Sweepstakes, held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. The event attracted more than 100 students from 16 universities and junior colleges around the nation.

The contest was designed by APHA to help students gain first-hand experience in using the knowledge they've obtained in the classroom to judge horses in the show ring. The students judged 9 horse show classes typically included in equine competition. Horses were shown in five halter classes and were judged on their physical appearance and structure. They were also shown and judged in four performance classes-Western Pleasure, Reining, Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation.

"This was an excellent opportunity for APHA to allow students to gain practical experience in their fields of study," said APHA Director of Shows Tina Anderson. "It was also a unique opportunity for them to judge and view some of the top horses in our breed.

"Our involvement in this annual event gives us a chance to expand on what these students are learning in the college classroom, and at the same time, introduce ourselves to future leaders at college campuses around the country."

Anderson explained that students were evaluated by APHA officials on their ability to judge the equine classes. Scores were given for how closely a student's placing of horses matched that of an APHA judging official's scoring. Students were also critiqued on the oral arguments they presented in support of their placement decisions.

At a dinner reception following the judging contest at the APHA Heritage Center, awards were presented to the top individuals and top junior and senior college teams.

The five universities topping the competition included: first, Purdue University; second, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.; third, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.; fourth, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.; and fifth, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The top five junior colleges included: first, Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College; second, Clarendon College, Clarendon, Texas; third, Black Hawk East, Kewanee, Ill.; fourth, Vernon Regional Junior College, Vernon, Texas; and fifth, Black Hawk East team 2.

Individual university winners included: first, Dara Newman, Middle Tennessee State University; second, Shon Gage, Kansas State University; third, Tatum Sprague, Kansas State University; fourth, Janna Leake, Purdue University; and fifth, Shilo Gage, Kansas State University.

Individual junior college winners included: first, Nicki Watkins, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College; second, Breck Oldenburger, Black Hawk East; third, Robbie Carpino, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College; fourth, Melissa Becking, Clarendon College; and fifth, Mark Russel, Clarendon College.

Hart Trailer Manufacturing of Chickasha, Okla., sponsored the competition and reception.

Participating junior college and universities:

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.
Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas

Junior Colleges
Black Hawk East, Kewanee, Ill.
Clarendon College, Clarendon, Texas
Northwest College, Powell, Wyo.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Miami, Okla.
Redlands Community College, El Reno, Okla.
Vernon Regional Junior College, Vernon, Texas

See "2001 Intercollegiate Spring Sweepstakes" at for more information on the winning teams and individuals.

For more information on APHA and its programs, visit or call (817) 834-2742, extension 788.

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