Putnam youth excel in area horse judging competition

Friday, May 18, 2012
Putnam County 4-H Horse and Pony judging team members include (front, from left) Whitney Boswell, Bree Mahoney-Sutherland, Megan Arnold and Adie Clifford. In back (from left) are Emily Gilley, Bailey Goff, Lauren Gutschlag, Jared James and Taylor Hicks.

Putnam County youth earned top honors recently competing first at the Area 5 Horse and Pony Judging Competition, then at the State Horse Judging Competition.

The Area 5 competition was held April 28 at the Putnam County Fairgrounds, and hosted 4-H and FFA teams and individuals from eight counties in both the Senior and Junior divisions.

Representing Putnam County and competing in the Senior Division were members Emily Gilley, Bailey Goff, Lauren Gutschlag, Jared James and Taylor Hicks. Competing in the Junior Division were members Megan Arnold, Whitney Boswell, Adie Clifford and Bree Mahoney-Sutherland.

Ranking in the top 10 in the Senior Division were James with second, Gutschlag with fourth and Gilley with fifth. In the Junior Division Arnold took home the first-place honors, with the junior team ranking third.

The State Competition was held May 5 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville.

Team members James, Gutschlag, Gilley and Arnold were eligible to continue to the state competition to represent Putnam County based on their accomplishments in area competition. Gutschlag took home seventh-place honors, while James captured ninth place for the day.

This is not the last competition for the group. Senior members Gilley, Goff, Gutschlag and James will be going on to represent Indiana at the American Paint Horse Association Youth World Judging Competition June 24 in Fort Worth, Texas. Three of those members have previously competed successfully at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up in Louisville.

"This is a very talented and motivated group of young people," coach Lisa Pitts said. "They are very driven to succeed on a national stage."

The team is currently working hard, not only to prepare for competition, but also to raise funds for the trip to Texas. They have had several fundraisers, including selling pizzas and setting barrels at shows at C Bar C Expo in Cloverdale.

The group is seeking sponsors to supplement the fundraisers and anyone interested in supporting this group may send donations to the Putnam County 4-H Horse & Pony Judging Team at 4010 S. CR 125 East, Greencastle.

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