Texas A&M Stock Horse Team wins national championship
AMARILLO — The Texas A&M Stock Horse Team remains undefeated for the year after winning the American Stock Horse Association National Championship Intercollegiate Stock Horse Show held April 13-14, 2012 in Amarillo.
The Stock Horse Team consists of six members who ride individual horses and compete in four separate events: stock horse pleasure, trail, reining and working cow horse. Students are divided into three separate divisions, based on their previous showing experience and years of riding. Students can also compete as individuals.
Aggie team members are Anna Haines, a sophomore animal science major from San Antonio; Calla Walker, a senior animal science major from Redmond, Ore.; Shellie Dalluge, a senior agricultural communications major from Fallon, Nev.; Melanie Armstrong, a junior animal science major from Dime Box; Amy Peterson, a sophomore kinesiology major from Sugarland; Sally Sanford, a junior animal science major from College Station; Kyle Birkenfield, a junior agricultural engineering major from Nazareth; and Ryan Birkenfield, a sophomore agricultural business major from Nazareth.
Dr. Dennis Sigler, Extension Horse Specialist, is coach and is assisted by Raul Valdez, animal science graduate assistant.
Texas A&M captured four out of six individual rider division high point champion and reserve champion honors and numerous class wins to capture the team trophy over second place Texas Tech University.
Individual results are:
- Ryan Birkenfield – reserve champion high point overall, champion in pleasure, reserve champion in reining
- Melanie Armstrong – fourth high point overall, champion in reining
Limited Non-Pro Division
- Anna Haines – reserve champion high point overall, reserve champion in trail
- Shellie Dalluge – sixth high point overall, reserve champion in reining
- Kyle Birkenfeld – 11th high overall
- Sally Sanford – champion high point overall, champion in cow horse, reserve champion in trail, reserve champion in reining
- Amy Peterson – reserve champion high point overall, champion in pleasure
- Calla Walker – 13th high overall
Texas A&M competed against 13 colleges and 107 individual competitors from across the country.
This is the first national stock horse team championship for Texas A&M, which won the reserve champion team at the 2011 national show. Sigler credits this success to each team member’s hard work and dedication.
“The success of this year’s team has been a result of their exceptional hard work and their willingness to improve their riding and showing skills. The team devoted their time to attending practice for six to eight hours per week, attending weekend clinics, ranch horse competitions and other activities, many times at their own expense,” Sigler said.
The ASHA National Championship Collegiate Stock Horse Show was managed by the American Stock Horse Association and the local host college, West Texas A&M University.
In addition to the show, students attended an educational horse training clinic on April 12 taught by professional horse trainer Todd Crawford, the earner of more than $2 million in reined cow horse competition.
The AQHA Foundation and Museum also hosted all teams to a special invitational showing of the AQHA Hall of Fame on April 14 at the conclusion of the show.
“This was a special treat for Texas A&M students, as Mr. B.F. Yeates, retired Horse Extension Specialist and AQHA Hall of Fame Honoree was in attendance with them,” Sigler said. “The Aggies also had the opportunity to stop at the historic Matador Ranch for a tour and to work their horses on cattle. They got to spend the night in the renovated Matador Hotel (originally built in 1914) in downtown Matador.”
This national championship marks the last contest for this team, which has gone undefeated. In the fall of 2011, the Stock Horse Team won competitions at North Central Texas College and Tarleton State University. Earlier this year, they brought home a win from competition at Stephen F. Austin University.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (979) 845-1542.