Local members of the Ellis County Silver Spurs 4-H Club judged their way to a championship banner and other top ribbons at the 2017 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Silver Spurs “Pink” team earned first place in Junior Horse Judging out of 49 junior 4-H teams and 155 individuals.
The championship team consisted of Sadie Hinz, a 7th grader from Italy, Gentry Rogers, a 7th grader from Frost, Maegen Newsom, an 8th grader from Ennis, and Jacob Ingram, an 8th grader from Waxahachie. Ingram also placed sixth as an individual.
In addition, Silver Spur 4-H “Green” team placed 5th in the Junior 4-H division. This team consisted of Alyssa Ingram, 8th grader from Waxahachie, Autumn Wells, 8th grader from Waxahachie, Avery Newsom, 5h grader from Waxahachie, and Kiera Taylor, 3rd grader from Mansfield.
In horse judging competitions, students watch a live horse show with sets of four horses. Students must know the rules and desired ideals for English, western, and ranch events as well as conformation for halter classes. The 4-Hers scores are then compared to a panel of professional judges.
Several Silver Spur 4-H members also made the top 10 as finalists in Skill-A-Thon. This is a contest designed by the Texas A & M University’s Equine Initiative program. The contest consists of a written test, ID Stations, a hands on portion and speeches, all covering anything and everything in the horse industry. Sadie Hinz, Autumn Wells and Gentry Rogers were all finalists in the San Antonio Stock Show Sill-A-Thon. These same three individuals also recently placed in a similar event called Equine IQ at the Fort Worth Stock Show. Hinz placed 4th, Rogers 6th and Wells 8th.
As a practice contest leading into the stock shows, the Silver Spurs 4-H’ers attended the Johnson County 4-H Horse Judging , where the Silver Spurs “Pink” team came home the championship belt buckle as high point junior team. This team included Sadie Hinz, Jacob Ingram, Autumn Wells and Maegen Newsom.
“I am so proud of these kids. Horse judging is not a competition that is considered fun to most horse kids. But it helps them learn more about their sport and what judges are looking for. It also helps them with public speaking and standing up for themselves as most contests require oral reasons to back up their decisions, which kids really hate but it’s good for them!” said coach Julie Hinz of Italy.
Silver Spurs 4-H Club meets once a month for a general membership meeting and education as well as additional practices per month at the Flying Dollar Ranch in Italy. In addition to horse judging , members compete in shows, rodeos and drill team. For more information on the 4-H horse project, contact manager Julie Hinz at hinzjulie @hotmail.com. For more information on how to join 4-H and other projects that 4-H has to offer, contact the local agricultural extension office.