WT Horse Judging Team Takes Top Honors at World Championships

Chip Chandler Nov 16, 2020
  • Featured
  • Agriculture

WT Horse Judging Team Takes Top Honors at World Championships

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s horse judging team continues to ride high.

“WT’s team was the most successful horse judging team in the world this year,” said coach John Pipkin, Equine Industry program director and Regent Professor of animal science.

Not just year: The team is historically successful, having won 125 champion and reserve champion titles since 1994. They’ve added to that total again with recent championship and reserve championship titles Nov. 7 and 9.

The team won the reining championship co-hosted by the National Reining Horse Association and American Quarter Horse Association on Nov. 7 and was named reserve champion of the American Quarter Horse Association contest Nov. 9. Both competitions were held in Oklahoma City during the AQHA world championship show.

“Our team members are extremely talented and, more importantly, they were extremely diligent in their efforts to prepare themselves and support their fellow teammates,” Pipkin said. “They are exceptional in so many ways including overcoming all the challenges associated with COVID restrictions and threats. Their resilience and team work are truly unmatched.”

Student competitors evaluate and place horses in various halter and performance classes, then provide oral presentations, or reasons, to explain the rationale for their placing, Pipkin said

In the NRHA competition, WT’s team bested competitors from Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University, among others, with four individual team members placing in the Top 10.

Elena Chapa, a junior nursing major from Maple Park, Ill., won first place, followed by Reilly Dhaliwal, junior agribusiness-equine major from Boulder, Colo., in third; Lacy Petty, junior agriculture communications major from Adrian, in fourth; and Hannah McLochlin, junior agriculture communications major from Plymouth, Ind., in fifth.

In the AQHA competition, the team ranked first in halter, first in reasons and second in performance.

Individual rankings included:

  • Chapa: third overall, sixth in halter, fifth in performance and 10th in reasons;
  • Dhaliwal: eighth overall, ninth in halter, sixth in performance and ninth in reasons;
  • Mollie Green, senior animal science major from Broadview Heights, Ohio: sixth overall, first in halter and first in reasons; and
  • McLochlin: ninth overall, eighth in halter, seventh in performance and fifth in reasons;

Other team members include Taylor Scheulen, agribusiness-equine major from Linn, Mo.; Sierra Stammen, junior agribusiness-equine major from Allen; and Josh Worten, a junior pre-veterinary major from Lake Butler, Fla.

WT’s commitment to agricultural education is a key tenet of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 38 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.