UW horse judging team finishes season strong

The University of Wyoming horse judging team strung one strong finish after another last fall to complete the season in the top five at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and National Reining Horse Association Futurity and top 10 at the All American Quarter Horse World Show.

“They work hard, traveling Wyoming and Colorado with practices and workouts inside and outside the classroom at horse shows and seminars,” said coach Jennifer Ingwerson-Niemann.

With Ingwerson-Niemann on maternity leave last fall, coaching was taken up by Laramie native Lacey Lindsay, a UW graduate who earned a degree in animal science production. Lindsay was a member of the highly successful 2011 horse judging team and now works as an independent contractor for horse shows.

The fifth-high finish at the National Reining Horse Futurity collegiate contest in Oklahoma City Nov. 28 and 29, 2017 was UW’s best performance ever at that competition. Team members completed a written rule book exam on day one and scored live horses on day two. The team’s top individual was Tanner McClure of Riverside, Calif., who was 15th. McClure joined the team with no previous experience.

At the Quarter Horse World Show, “the best of the best,” Nov. 12, 2017 in Oklahoma City, the judging team earned eighth overall, seventh in halter (standing), seventh in performance (riding) and ninth in reasons. Rayne Benson of Laramie placed 14th out of 66 competitors.

At the Quarter Horse Congress Oct. 18, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio, the UW team earned fifth overall, fifth in halter class, sixth in performance and sixth in reasons. Robin Ferguson of Gordon, Neb., was ninth-high individual and Benson 15th out of 66 competitors.

Lindsay notes the season’s results brought attention to Wyoming, as they placed among the top in the nation out of 23 schools, many of which recruit heavily and have the depth of two teams.

“The horse judging team is grateful for funding from the Riley Endowment, founded by Mel and Isa Riley, and the UW Department of Animal Science,” Lindsay said. In addition, the judging team hosts judging clinics, participates in a team holiday meat sale, a tailgate cookout and a football game day raffle to raise funds to cover expenses.

“The UW horse judging team is appreciative of the department and community support that helps our program provide this experience for current and future students,” said Ingwerson-Niemann. “Not only do they get to see the nation’s top horses, they develop leadership and skills outside the classroom and are exposed to careers in the industry.”

For more information, contact Ingwerson-Niemann at [email protected] or 307-766-4373.