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The Kansas Horse Council’s mission is “encouraging learning and higher education pursuits of individuals involved in the equine industry.”

Fulfilling that purpose, the Kansas Horse Council (KHC) annually sponsors an open horse judging contest during the EquiFest of Kansas. 

Unlike meat animal livestock which can be selected from production data, the only way to evaluate horses is by visual appraisal. 

Thus horse judging becomes an important tool for newcomers and veterans in the horse industry to critique equine prospects. 

Compared to livestock judging contests, horse judging competitions are now limited in number offering that learning opportunity.  

The Kansas Paint Horse Association and Cloud County Community College (CCCC) coordinated this year’s EquiFest Horse Judging Contest at Salina. Jamieson Gross is the CCCC agriculture department chair and horse judging team coach. 

The Barton County 4-H Team won the junior division followed by Marais Des Cygnes 4-H Team and Morris County 4-H Team. 

High individual junior judging contestant was Jhet Johnson, Morris County. He was followed respectively by Hunter Chowning, Marais Des Cygnes 4-H, and Shaelyn Richmier, Barton County 4-H. 

Marais Des Cygnes 4-H Team won the senior team division followed by South Brown County USD 430, and BlackJack Saddle Club-Riley County. 

Top senior horse judging contestant was Esmerelda Franklin, Marais Des Cygnes 4-H.  Lindsey Cierra, Marais Des Cygnes 4-H, and Clarissa Jamuld, South Brown County USD 430, were the second and third place seniors. 

Competing as an individual, Adelaide Haverkamp, Nemaha Valley, was the top senior contestant. Natalee Bray, Pike Valley, and Lainey Umphenour, Marais Des Cygnes 4-H, were second and third senior individuals respectively. 

Lakyn Stoneking, Shawnee County 4-H, was the top scoring junior individual followed by Laynee Bray, Pike Valley, and Alyssa Thomas, Shawnee County 4-H.