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Team of Salt Lake County 4-H’ers qualify for national competition

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Dec 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-02 00:09:49-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- A team of girls from Utah has qualified to compete at the Western National Roundup in Colorado.

The girls have been working hard and studying daily to become experts regarding the different breeds of horses, and they hope their efforts will pay off at the competition in January of 2014.

Megan Rowley is a horse judging coach for the Salt Lake County 4-H Club, and she said this is a great opportunity.

“We’re pretty excited that we have the opportunity to represent Utah,” she said.

The Salt Lake County 4-H Club Horse Judging Team beat out several other contenders in Utah to earn their spot at the national event.

'There were about eight teams that we competed against in Utah, and they were very tough teams,” Rowley said. “Everybody knew their stuff, so it was really tough.”

Rowley said they have been working hard to prepare.

“We meet once a week and study,” Rowley said. “We go over different breed types, the ideal breed characteristics, and also what to expect from different classes, and we also practice our oral reasons. And the girls study everyday by themselves, just trying to get the information in.”

Mardee Rawson is a member of the team, and she said a horse is judged on a variety of things.

“If the head and the butt work well together, if the legs are straight, or if there’s an angle...” she said. “If the eyes are prominent, well-defined, like shoulder sloping. There’s so many different degrees and angles and straight lines that you should look at first.”

It’s been about eight years since a team from Salt Lake County has qualified, and it’s been even longer since one has competed in nationals.

“I think it’ll be the best experience yet,” Rawson said. “I think going with my team, and just going for the new experience for different horses, different classes to just—it’ll be such a good experience.”

The Western National Roundup will be held January 9-12, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.