Riverbank FFA competed in their very first Horse Judging Contest at UC Davis last month. Three students participated in the event and placed. Nathan Rummerfield won Outstanding Secretary for the Stanislaus Tuolumne Section FFA. They also competed in two other Horse Judging competitions, one at Modesto Junior College on March 24 and Gridley High School on March 31.
“This (contest) not only enhances their public speaking skills but also aids the students in putting their thoughts in an organized order which will help them as they progress through their high school career,” said Dustin Parson, FFA Advisor, Ag Instructor. “In addition, they are able to show that they were on a competitive team at the high school level.”
The competition includes students judging halter and performance classes along with four sets of reasons on those classes. There were eight classes that ranged from Hunter Under Saddle, Western Pleasure, and Reining. The reasons that a student lists is an explanation of why they judged the horses the way they did.
“Horse judging also transfers to the college level where the students can go to college on a horse judging scholarship to judge at the college and national level,” added Parson. “We have a lot to get done and practice for our upcoming contests and they are excited to do so. Riverbank FFA just recently purchased our very first Livestock trailer. We are excited to use this for the Stanislaus County Fair this year.”
The contest is part of the FFA Career Development that everyone in California that is a member of FFA can participate in. According to Parson they chose horse judging because his family owns a horse boarding stable where approximately 70 horses are boarded. This allowed the students to have hands on experience learning what the ideal quarter horse should look like, learn about the breeds and the sex characteristics of the horses.
“I am able to take the kids out to judge real horses all the time so it was the contest that I had the most resources for,” stated Parson. “Horse judging is one of the only Career Development Contests that FFA offers that the students can compete in, in college.”
Parson noted that the horse judging is a large event that over 40 schools from throughout the state compete in from Chico to Bakersfield.
During the MJC competition, Riverbank High School FFA only had two members that competed against teams with four members which caused a loss of points for being down two people.
The last contest of the year was the trip to Gridley where four students competed and placed second overall. Rummerfield won 1st High Individual in Halter and 3rd Individual overall in Reasons.
The school farm on campus has pigs and there will be four students with Livestock Projects that will be showing at the Stanislaus County Fair.