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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU horse judging team places at national competition

The New Mexico State University horse judging team placed fourth out of fourteen collegiate teams at the 2007 U.S. Arabian Nationals Horse Judging Contest, held Oct. 26-28 in Albuquerque, N.M.

The contest was held at the state fairgrounds. Teams from universities around the nation competed, judging four halter classes and six performance classes. Each team consisted of five people, with one person as the drop score.

"This was the very first competition for most of the students on the team. I'm happy with the way they performed," said Jason Turner, assistant professor and extension horse specialist.

NMSU won fifth in the halter, performance and reasons classes, and placed fourth overall for the weekend. Individually, Kaycee McDaniel placed eighth in performance, winning ninth overall. She is a freshman from Lovington, N.M. majoring in animal science.

Other competing team members were Arianne Wilbanks, a freshman from Moriarty, N.M., and Hannah Willemsma, a sophomore from Hatch, N.M., both agricultural business majors. Animal science majors Carla Miner, a junior from Mesa, Ariz., and Nizhoni Paz, a junior from Gallup, N.M., also competed.

Other team members who did not compete at the contest are Danika Jackson, a freshman from Las Cruces, N.M. majoring in animal science, and Keisha Yazzie, a sophomore from Ramah, N.M. majoring in range science.

"I'm looking forward to working with the students in the spring, and I'm hoping to add some more members to the team then, too," Turner said.