Dec. 3, 2012
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, firstname.lastname@example.org
Horse Judging Team Wins Championship at End-of-Season Contest
CANYON, Texas—The West Texas A&M University horse judging team closed out its final competition of the year with a first-place finish at the National Reining Horse Association National Championship (NRHA) Nov. 29-30 in Oklahoma City.
The team’s participation in the end-of-season competition marks the 14th consecutive year it has been named champion or reserve champion at the NRHA event. The team won first place with 4,579 points with Texas A&M University (4,560), Oklahoma State University (4,510), Virginia Tech (4,448) and New Mexico State University (4,413) rounding out the top five. The national championship event featured 15 teams and 74 contestants.
The win closes out an exceptional year for the eight team members. The University team opened its 2012 season with a first-place win at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in October, followed by a reserve world championship at the November AQHA World Championship, and it closed out the competitive season with the championship at NRHA. Overall, the WTAMU team has won 76 champion or reserve champion team or individual national or world championships since 1994.
In individual placings, five WTAMU students all finished in the top 10 within 16 points of each other. Lindsey McNeill, a junior equine industry and business major from Houston, placed fourth overall, followed by teammate Kayla Wells, a junior agricultural media and communication major from Aurora, Ill., in fifth-place overall. Other WTAMU students placing in the top 10 overall included Tabatha Taylor, a senior agricultural media and communication major from Amarillo, in seventh-place overall, Felicia Kimmel, a junior animal science/pre veterinary major from Bradley, Ill., at eighth and Julia Roberts, a junior equine industry and business major from Clovis, N.M. in ninth-place overall.
“This victory was a fitting completion to a great year of successful competition by this talented, hard-working, fantastic group of students,” Dr. John Pipkin, director of the equine industry program and coach of the horse judging team, said. “The WT team established themselves as the most successful senior College horse judging team this fall by winning first place in two and second place in the third of the three preeminent fall competitions. They are a stand-out group, and I am extremely proud of them and the recognition they brought WT through their success.”
WTAMU horse judging team members are listed by hometown, classification and major.
Tabatha Taylor, senior agricultural media and communication major
Kayla Wells, junior agricultural media and communication major
Felicia Kimmel, junior animal science/pre-veterinary major
Julia Roberts, junior equine industry and business major
Erin Goodell, junior equine industry and business major
Lindsey McNeill, junior equine industry and business major
Jana Foil, sophomore animal science/nursing major
Natalie Gilbert, senior equine industry and business major