AMES, Iowa -- The Washington County 4-H Livestock judging team placed first among 12 teams at the 2005 Iowa 4-H State Horse Judging Contest held at Jester Park near Granger, Iowa. The Washington County team will represent Iowa in the 2006 national judging contest held in Denver, Colo., in January.
The four-member team scored 1,109 points out of the possible 2,000 in the senior division. The Washington County team members are Priscilla Marlar, Waylon; Amanda Immerman and Tommy Herschberger, Wellman; and Jillian Hotchkiss, West Chester. Their coach is Jim Hotchkiss, West Chester.
Second place in the senior division went to Montgomery County, with 1,087 points. Hannah Thomas, Lisa Palmquist and Holly Miller, all of Red Oak; and Rachel Bergen, Villisca, are the team members. The Montgomery County team is coached by Michelle Jordan, Red Oak.
Polk County was the third place team at the state event with 1,044 points. Team members include Jill Dobson, Jerry Sorenson and Joe Bair, all of Elkhart; and Heather Stoler, Polk City. This team is coached by Brenda Dobson, Elkhart.
Junior team winners include teams from Story and Mills County.
The contest gives 4-H'ers opportunities to learn evaluation methods, practice decision-making and communication skills, and develop the ability to select horses appropriate for a defined purpose.
Each contestant presented two sets of oral reasons describing why they placed animals in a specific order.
"The ability to make a decision and defend it to others is a life skill they will use forever," said Mary Clancy, 4-H Agriculture program specialist.
Sponsors for the contest include the Iowa Horse Council and the Iowa 4-H Foundation Equine Endowment.
Carol Ouverson, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-9640, firstname.lastname@example.org