Putnam County youth excel in horse judging competitions
The Putnam County 4-H Junior and Senior Horse and Pony judging teams have had a busy and successful competition season.
Participating in the Senior Division this year are Megan Arnold, Jessica Hays, Adie Clifford, Whitney Boswell and Boston Campbell.
Participating in the Junior Division are Bree Mahoney-Sutherland, Kayla Evans, Sonora Erwin, Emma Summers, Callie Buckman, Sydney Moore, Mackenzie McCollough, Kyley Pelfrey, Izabella Summerlot and Skylar Cradick.
The team began the season competing March 26 at the Purdue Western Equestrian Team Invitational. In the Junior Division, three members found their way into the top 10 with Sydney Moore placing fifth, Sonora Erwin seventh and Kayla Evans 10th. Also in the Junior Division, the team of Erwin, Evans, Skylar Cradick and Mackenzie McCollough placed third and the team of Moore, Bree Mahoney-Sutherland, Kyley Pelfrey and Izzy Summerlot was fourth.
In the Senior Division, two members ranked in the top 10, with Megan Arnold placing second and Whitney Boswell taking home top honors.
The Senior Team of Boswell, Arnold, Jessica Hays and Boston Campbell also took home top honors, placing first.
On April 9 the teams headed to St. Mary of the Woods Equestrian Center for the area competition, where Putnam County again had an outstanding showing.
In the Junior Division, the team of Kayla Evans, Bree Mahoney-Sutherland, Kayla Evans, Sonora Erwin and Emma Summers placed second, earning them a trip to the state contest. Also in the Junior Division, Callie Buckman took fifth individually, qualifying her to continue to the state contest as well.
In the Senior Division, the team of Megan Arnold, Jessica Hays, Adie Clifford and Whitney Boswell dominated the day, taking home top honors and earning a trip to the state contest. Additionally, in the Senior Division, Jessica Hays was second and Adie Clifford took top honors.
The State Horse and Pony Horse Judging Competition was held May 9 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, and once again, Putnam County found its way into the awards.
In the Junior Division, Emma Summers achieved a third-place finish and the team of Sommers, Bree Mahoney-Sutherland, Kayla Evans and Sonora Erwin earned fifth place. In the Senior Division, Megan Arnold, Jessica Hays, Adie Clifford and Whitney Boswell earned top honors in the Reasons Division of the contest. Individually, Arnold ranked fourth and Hays ranked second, and overall, the team took home top honors as the 2016 State Champions.
"The purpose of these types of events is not just to learn to judge horses of a variety of breeds and riding disciplines, but to develop life skills such as evaluating choices, decision-making and being able to present an organized and concise verbal summary of their evaluations," coach Lisa Pitts said. "I just could not be more proud of the hard work all of these kids have put into learning the material and preparing for the contests. Even those not making their way into the ribbons had an excellent showing at one contest or another."
This is not the last competition for the group. The Senior team's first-place accomplishment at the state contest earns it a trip to compete and represent Indiana at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville in the fall.
The team is currently working hard, not only to prepare themselves for competition in the fall, but also to raise funds for the trip to the contest. Members will be holding a few fundraisers in the upcoming months. Additionally, 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 and Pony Judging Team, 4010 S. CR 125 East, Greencastle, IN 46135.