Iowa Horse Judges Certification Clinic

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension
Iowa State University

Extension Lead(s)
(name, position, counties served, contact information)

Peggy Miller-Auwerda
Associate Professor
Iowa Extension and Outreach Equine Specialist
119 Kildee
Ames, IA 50011
Counties Served - All

Your Position


POW #and Team

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Title of Success Story

Iowa Horse Judges Certification Clinic

Continuing Story

___x__ No                _____  Yes (If continuing, what story?)

Knowledge Areas:(USDA categories)

Plan of Work Number: 180

Desired Changes

  • To increase the knowledge and skill for judges and potential judges of youth (4-H and open shows), as well as exhibitors and spectators.
  • To provide “hands-on” experience in judging horse show classes.
  • To create more uniform judging standards. The Danish System of awarding Purple, Blue, Red and White ribbons in placing Iowa 4-H Horse Shows is stressed
  • To aid horse show committees in selecting horse show judges by development of a judges directory that provides a list of potential horse show judges


(Why is it important to address this issue with education? What are the desired changes?)

Every county fair has a horse show. In addition there are multiple open horse shows held each year. The clinic is designed as an education opportunity for horse show judges. This allows for uniformity in standards for judging horse shows including halter, showmanship, stock seat equitation, hunt seat equitation and pleasure, driving horses.

(Outputs: activities, numbers reached, publications, products)

A one-day program is held. Participants judge 8 to 10 classes of 4 horses. Classes are selected from typical classes judges would see at a county fair or open horse show. These may include but are not limited to  halter, showmanship, pleasure, and trail. Each judge is scored on their placing. In addition, potential judges must take an open book examination on Rules and Regulations for 4-H Equine Shows in Iowa. To be placed in the judge’s directory, the individual must score 85% or better on the practical examination and written examination. An annual directory is developed that is distributed to county extension offices and open horse show organizations.


RESULTS(Outcomes:  specific changes that occurred in Learning, Actions,Conditions; how outcomes were measured)

Each year 75 to 100 individuals are approved for listing in the Iowa Horse Show Judges Directory.

Public Value (now or future)
(Impact:  Who benefits beyond participants and how?  What conditions changed?)

Class participants were able to network, visit and learn from professionals in the equine industry regarding judging a variety of horse show classes. The directory is utilized by horse show superintendents, county fair boards as well as horse show organizations to select and hire horse show judges. The program establishes uniformity in horse show judging which benefits the thousands of 4-H youth that show horses as wells as the thousands who show horses in open shows.

Major Partners or Collaborators


Where story took place
(Region, campus, multi-regional)

Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls, IA.

Fiscal Year


Multi-state or Integrated(Ext + Research)


Funding Source



Horse, Horse Show, Judge



Page last updated: August 15, 2011
Page maintained by Julie Honeick,