Lincoln County 4-H’ers turned out in force at the State Horse Judging event, held late February at the National Equestrian Center in Lake Saint Louis. Five young women from the area participated in the day-long event: Lily Wehmer, Marlie Karsten, Rebecca Hawkes and Sophie Burkemper were on the junior team, and Eleena Olle was the senior representative.
The girls participated in judging a variety of categories, and were required to take detailed notes on each class, then place the first through fourth place contestants and give a set of reasons to back their choices up.
“One of the reasons was halter and one of them was riding, so there were different terms and different things you have to look for [with] both of them, so it was just very different judging both of them,” Olle said.
“One’s all about the body and their structure, and the other one’s all about how they move. It’s very different, and coming up with terms and ways that you present those things to the judges is hard, especially trying to come up with both in a certain amount of time.”
The Lincoln County girls have been showing horses for several years now, but this was the first time that any of them had done any judging. Olle was the only one of the Lincoln County 4-H members to give two sets of reasons.
“It was stressful, a bit,” Olle said. “Once we did the first set of reasons, it was fine, and then the second set was okay.”
The five only had one month to learn all the ins and outs of judging, and had to be prepared to recite all the information from their reasons to a judge without referencing notes.
“I’ve always had a hard time giving presentations or speech things like that, so I’m proud of myself for doing that,” Olle said.