Woodstock Ghost Rider’s 4-H Club take on Western Region 4-H Horse Judging Contest


On April 20th, the Woodstock Ghost Rider’s 4-H Club traveled to Triple P Arena in Decaturville, TN, to compete at the Western Region 4-H Horse Judging Contest.

The team consisted of the following members competing in the age categories: 

Junior Division (grades 4th-5th)

Abigail White

Junior High Division (grades 6th-8th

Shianne Galayda

Sophia White

Kaylee Wooten 

Senior Division (grades 9th-12th)

Serenity Green

Layla Holland

Eliza Yucalevich

The Horse Judging Contest tests youth’s knowledge on horses in terms of evaluating conformation, form-to-function, unsoundness, blemishes, performance and other factors to distinguish desirable versus undesirable characteristics in horses, riders and equine performance events. Senior level contestants are asked to defend their reasoning and logic while delivering oral reasons sets. Youth judge a variety of horses, from stock-type Western, Walking horses, and Hunter type horses in halter, along with under saddle classes.  

Scores are tallied and youth are awarded on individual scores, and 4-H clubs are awarded on a team level. The top four teams qualify for the state contest at the 4-H Horse Show in June. 


The team went up against 19 other counties in the Western Region and a total of 140 other competitors. The youth had to judge the following classes: 

  1. Stock type geldings
  2. Stock type mares
  3. Ranch Pleasure riding
  4. Hunter Under Saddle 
  5. Horsemanship

In addition to ranking the four horses in each class, the senior members had to give reasons to defend their placings in two of the classes to the judges. 

In the end, the Ghost Riders represented Shelby County 4-H extremely well! The results were: Abigail White finished in the top 15 for the Junior division in the individual competition. Junior High team finished in the top 10 for the Junior High Division


The highlight of the contest was that the Senior team finished Reserve Grand Champion for the region and will be going to the State Horse Judging contest! UT TSU Shelby County Extension are proud of the Woodstock Ghost Rider’s team and cannot wait to see the Senior Team represent the county in June.

The team is thankful to their club leader, Ms. Kim Looney, and their agent, Kyla Szemplinski, for their respective guidance and teaching that helped them prepare for the contest. They are also thankful to Hunter’s Edge Stables and Massar Stables that allowed them to come for in-person sessions, which exposed them to multiple disciplines. In March, to help with horse judging skills, Kyla called trainer, Gene “Beanie” Cone, and fellow riders at Hunter’s Edge Stables to help the Ghost Riders 4-H club with judging hunter type horses. A few weeks later at local dressage barn, Massar Stables, the Ghost Riders were able to judge a class of hunter type horses in conformation and under saddle class with help from trainer, Caitlyn Massey. The team is grateful for all the support equestrian facilities in Shelby County has provided. 

The Woodstock's Ghost Riders are always looking for new members. Individuals do not have to own a horse to participate in 4-H. It is a great way to learn about horses, travel to different parts of the county, meet industry professionals and be exposed to different career paths and future opportunities. Woodstock’s Ghost Riders 4-H Group is open to all ages. For more information about how to join the Woodstock's Ghost Riders or other Shelby County 4-H clubs, please contact the Shelby County Extension office at 901-752-1207.

Programs on agriculture and natural resources, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, and resource development. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture and county governments cooperating, UT Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.



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