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Horse Judging Team places 3rd at AQHA World Show

ECC Horse Judging Team at 2015 AQHA World Show

Pictured at the competition are, from left, Joycelin Munden, Lydia Johnson, Isabelle Mixon, Coach Megan Gogerty, Hannah Nelson, Kaylyn Kucera and Jane Hoffmann.

The Ellsworth Community College Horse Judging Team earned 3rd place overall at the prestigious international American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Championship Show Collegiate Horse Judging Contest on Nov. 18 in Oklahoma City, OK. The team earned 19 total medals, two plaques and a $750 scholarship, in addition to the 3rd place overall high team honors.

Four members of the team also earned individual placings at the prestigious collegiate competition.

“This was Ellsworth’s most successful team to date, bringing home the highest placings, money earnings and medal counts ever from the AQHA World Show,” says Coach Megan Gogerty. “Our Judging Team is now ranked 3rd in the nation in the Junior College Division at the AQHA World Show. That’s an incredible achievement as we went up against more than 30 colleges and universities from all over the United States, including 13 in our division.”

ECC team members included Jane Hoffmann of Deloit, IA; Lydia Johnson of Fairmont, MN; Kaylyn Kucera of Madison, NE; Isabelle Mixon of Fort Calhoun, NE; Joycelin Munden of Lowden, WA; and Hannah Nelson of Plymouth, MN. They were coached by ECC Equine Associate Professor Megan Gogerty.

The ECC Horse Judging Team judged 12 classes (Trail, Tie-Down Roping, Team Roping – Heading, Reining, Western Riding, Ranch Riding, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, and four halter classes) and gave six sets of reasons. The team placed 3rd in Halter, 4th in Performance, 5th in Reasons, and was the 3rd Overall High Team.

Individually, Hannah Nelson placed 8th in Individual Halter, 6th in Individual Performance, and 6th Individual Overall; Jane Hoffmann placed 11th Individual Overall (she was just one point from placing 10th); Kaylyn Kucera placed 2nd in Individual Reasons Limited Division; and Lydia Johnson tied for 11th in Individual Performance Limited Division (she was one point from placing 10th).

“This is definitely the highlight of my coaching career, to see these young ladies who came to our program with minimal to no prior horse judging experience work hard and be rewarded for their success,” says Coach Gogerty. “It made me so proud to sit in a room with collegiate coaches and students from all over the nation and have Ellsworth recognized over and over again with numerous awards! We are so thankful to have had support from everyone at the College and in our communities. We want to give a special thanks to those who gave their time and monetary donations to help make all of this possible.”

In addition to the competitions, the ECC team toured Xtra Quarter Horses, Royal Vista Ranches, and the Royal Vista Southwest equine embryo transfer facility in Purcell, OK, where 2015 ECC graduate Kendra Pintar recently completed an internship and was hired as an Equine Reproduction Technician.

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