Randolph-Henry’s horse judging team places in top five

Randolph-Henry’s Horse Judging Team now has a Top Five finish under their belt this season. The group competed during the weekend of April 5-6 at the Virginia Horse Center, coming in fifth overall. 

The group also placed fifth in the halter judging portion, fourth in the performance judging section and fifth in the oral reasons portion, basically defending their judgment, as we’ll explain in a minute. On the individual side, Ashley Marston came in seventh in performance judging. Joining Ashley in the weekend competition were Lily Sutphin, Kaitlyn Irving and Madison Irving. 

Now horse judging is a unique event because while the students from different schools are judging the horses, each team is also being judged themselves.

Think of this almost like an instant review, checking up on an NFL or college football group of referees. There are certain things the horse judging team is supposed to know, things they can spot during the competition. Maybe a horse didn’t perform well. Maybe the owner missed little things and didn’t have them ready to compete. That’s what the horse judging teams are expected to catch and in turn get points on if they did or didn’t.

Then they have to defend their position, the oral reasons section mentioned earlier, much like presenting a term paper. Each school’s horse judging team has to go before the event’s officials, giving reasons why they made the choices they did.

Since Randolph-Henry’s horse judging team placed in the top five at the state event, they advance to another one in June and so on. It can keep going until November, which is when the national event is held in Indianapolis. Succeed in these competitions, officials say, and you could earn yourself a job after graduation in the horse industry.