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The NEO Horse Judging Team travelled to Fort Worth, Texas, in late September to compete at the American Paint Horse Association World show judging contest, marking the first competition of the fall season. The show operated under a new, socially distant, format, and NEO was one of two two-year college teams competing against ten other colleges. The challenge didn’t keep NEO off the podium, however, with the NEO Blue team placing third and the NEO Gold team placing sixth overall. “It was a great start to the fall season for this team,” said Kevin Pool, head coach. “They did extremely well against some tough competition and I’m proud of their success. It was a great first test for us to see what we need to improve for some bigger contests later this fall.” Pool noted that COVID-19 has made both practice and competition difficult, but that horse judging allows greater flexibility in implementing safety measures, such as social distancing and mask use. In light of the challenges, he was happy to finally participate in a show.

In addition to the team success in the first show, Wagoner, Okla., Sophomore Jewel Bibelheimer placed third-high overall after placing top-three in Halter, top-five in Performance, and top-ten in Reasons. Owasso, Okla., Sophomore Mikayla South also placed top-ten individually, with a top-five finish in Halter, and a top-ten finish in Performance. Rounding out the individual achievement was Neosho, Mo., Sophomore Bailey McAlister, who placed fifth-high in the Halter division. Included in the NEO Blue team was Bibelheimer, South, Claremore, Okla., Sophomore Hannah Cain, and Chouteau, Okla., Sophomore Elizabeth Hokit. The NEO Gold team included McAlister, Cuba, Mo., Sophomore Hannah Shasserre, Bend, Or., Sophomore Holly Silvey, and Pella, In., Sophomore Shianne Votava. For more information on horse judging at NEO, contact Brittany Parker at Brittany.coffee@okstate.edu.


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