The American Paint Horse Association’s (APHA) Intercollegiate Horse Judging Spring Sweepstakes attracted 146 students from 21 colleges and universities from around the country to compete at this year’s annual contest. The contest, sponsored by Hart Trailers, took place April 24 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
“APHA continues to host this event each year because we recognize the opportunities it brings to these young, aspiring judges,” says Trigg Rentfro, APHA’s managing director of performance, racing and international departments. “The contest provides a hands-on approach to test their knowledge gained in the classroom, and also promotes the idea of earning a judge’s card, which in turn benefits the horse industry as a whole.”
The day-long event concluded with an awards dinner, held at APHA’s headquarters in Fort Worth, and honored the top collegiate judges at the contest. The Senior College High Team Overall winner was awarded to Kansas State University. Black Hawk College, located in Kewanee, Ill., defended its title this year as the Junior College High Team Overall winner. Team members and coaches were awarded rosettes, six APHA bags and Gist Silversmith belt buckles, along with a championship trophy. The top team finished first in each of the three categories—halter, performance and oral reasons.
Kindra Gradert from Kansas State University received the Senior College High Individual honors. She also had the highest scores in overall oral reasons and overall performance events. For her championship efforts, Gradert took home a Paint Horse Journal subscription, rosette, trophy and coffee table book, The American Paint Horse: A Photographic Portrayal, by Darrell Dodds and David R. Stoecklein.