WT Horse Judging Team Rides to Victory in College Station

Chip Chandler Apr 12, 2024
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WT Horse Judging Team Rides to Victory in College Station

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


WT Horse Judging Team Rides to Victory in College Station

CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s horse judging team is continuing its winning ways, defeating one of the nation’s top teams on its home turf.

The WT squad was named champion of the Spring Collegiate Sweepstakes Horse Judging Contest in College Station, also placing first in halter, second in team performance and second in reasons.

A Texas A&M University team placed second; in February, one of A&M’s squads beat the top WT squad by eight points.

But at the April 6 contest, WT’s overall team score was three points higher than the top A&M squad.

“In my first year as coach at WT, I am deeply honored to uphold the legacy of excellence with this win,” said Dr. Christy Petry-Adams, instructor of agricultural business and economics in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. “Witnessing our students shine fills me with immense pride and gratitude as it kicks off the start of this year’s season. It’s more than just winning, though; it's truly about the journey. From the tireless hours of practice to the unbreakable bonds of camaraderie, each moment has spoken volumes about the team’s commitment to excellence.”

Other competitors included the University of Arkansas and Oklahoma State University, among others.

Four WT students also ranked in the top 10 in individual overall placings.

Gracie Potter, a sophomore animal science major from Shallowater, ranked third overall, first in reasons, second in performance and fourth in halter. Abigail Newbold, a senior agricultural business and economics major from Alvord, ranked sixth overall, seventh in performance and ninth in reasons. And, in the limited division, Addie Brown, a sophomore agriculture media and communication major from Beeville, ranked seventh overall, fifth in reasons and sixth in halter, and Morgan Holcomb, a junior biochemistry major from Canyon, ranked 10th overall, first in halter and fourth in reasons.

Other top 10 placings included Shana Elkins, a junior agriculture major from Dunken, New Mexico, who placed ninth in halter; and Zach Rich, a junior agriculture education major from Capitan, New Mexico, who placed eighth in halter.

Also competing was Chloe Hamaker, a junior agriculture media and communication major from Van Wert, Iowa.

WT ended its 2023 season as the winner of the National Reining Championship and third place in the American Quarter Horse Association World Championships.

WT’s horse judging teams are one of the ways the University is responsive to regional needs, as set out in its long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised nearly $160 million.



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. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including 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 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.



Photo: The West Texas A&M University team was named champion of the Spring Collegiate Sweepstakes Horse Judging Contest in College Station. Pictured are, from left, Shana Elkins; Zach Rich; Abigail Newbold; Gracie Potter; Chloe Hamaker; Makenzie Knipe, assistant coach; and Dr. Christy Petry-Adams, coach.