Last year we stepped it up a notch and found some more Horse Judging competitions to attend. We thought long and hard about going all the way to Fort Worth, but decided to go for it. I’ll never forget when we got there and looked into the arena, the other coach and I figured out we were in the fray of a “Senior” competition with our mostly intermediate team. Morgan was our only senior in attendance, but at this competition, age didn’t matter. While it was a “senior” competition, any age could judge.
It was a really tough competition with three sets of reasons, and while the kids did an amazing job, they really didn’t want to return.
But after horse judging camp this year and getting more experience, they decided it would be worth the trip. Besides, they LOVED the Fort Worth Rodeo 🙂
So off we went this year with high hopes. Early Friday morning it was “Fort Worth here we come!”
What we didn’t know was that we would hit a bit of a road block. We didn’t realize that the kids were not allowed to judge as individuals this year like they did last year. They could only judge if we had enough for 3 or 4 to a team, with no restrictions on age. We had 6 members signed up to go, but one ended up cancelling at the last minute. So the morning of the competition we arrived all excited and pumped up and ready to go, Jennifer came back from the registration table with bad news.
We had 5 kids, which meant one would not get to judge.
Talk about taking the wind out of our sails!
When Coach Jennifer told me, we decided it would be best for the kids to decide who should judge. They know their team, and they are a tight knit team. It was such a hard decision, but I can honestly say in hindsight that it probably made our team stronger and closer.
After they talked it over and Logan told them he really wanted Sheri to judge since she was a senior and it was her last year and that our two intermediates really loved this so much and he really wanted Morgan, Taylor and Kaitlyn to be able to judge together (they don’t get to judge together anywhere else due to age categories), the 4 person team of Sheri, Morgan, Taylor and Kaitlyn took a deep breath and shook it off, high fived Logan and each other, and went on up to be seated for the competition which was just about to start.
So after a very long day of judging classes, preparing and giving three sets of reasons, 6 and a half hours later we met up with the kids. Coach Jen, Sheri and Logan went ahead and hit the road since they had family that had met up with them and would be going home with them for a visit. Logan had goats to prepare for San Antonio, and would only have a day before heading to San Antonio. I hope he kicks some Stock Show Booty with those goats after our Fort Worth ordeal! I’m so glad he will at least be going to state with the senior team Horse Judging Team after they qualify in San Antonio.
As we waited for results, we sat and relaxed a bit. The girls were totally thinking there was no way they would win anything, but when they began announcing results they were very excited to Morgan’s name, then Jim Wells County, and were elated to go up and pick up their gigantic ribbons!
Jim Wells County 4-H received 4th place overall in halter, with Morgan receiving a 7th place ribbon for individual halter. Morgan also tied for 8th place in Reasons, but the tie was between 4 judgers and she ended up in 11th place with no ribbon for that one.
I know these girls have won lots and lots of ribbons. But take my word for it, these ribbons from Fort Worth are few and far between and really difficult to get your hands on, so these really mean a lot!! I loved watching them walk through the stock show with these big ole things on their jackets. These girls are nothing short of amazing, blessed and highly favored!
May the glory and honor always be given back to God. Thank you Jesus for your gracious gifts and protection over these precious girls! May their hearts always put You first in everything they do.
My girls are looking a bit like triplets here so I’ll just caption this one:
from left to right Taylor Gunn, Morgan Gunn and Kaitlyn Hessek.
Enjoy your journey,