By Olivia Norton ’16
Decatur – The Texas A&M Stock Horse Team won the championship title at the American Stock Horse Association Intercollegiate Show for the third consecutive year.
On Oct. 26 the Aggies cruised to the top ahead of North Central Texas College and Tarleton University earning the highest team award and adding to its collection, multiple individual honors.
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 divisions, based on their previous show experience and years of riding.
This year’s team consists of Morgan Moreno from Georgetown, Kyla Kalinowski from Seguin, Taylor Godwin from Port Arthur, Haley Birkenfeld from Nazareth, Lane Birkenfeld from Nazareth, Zachary Haydon from Marble Falls, Helen Hardy from Georgetown, Sarah Savage from Marble Falls, Shelby Hill from Hutto, Michelle Glover from Madisonville and Derby Jones from College Station.
In each of the three competitive divisions, non pro, limited non pro, and novice, an Aggie rose to the first place position, two of which were mounted on horses owned by Texas A&M. H. Birkenfeld earned top honors in the non pro division, followed by Haydon in third and Savage in fourth. The limited non pro was won by Godwin followed by the third place finish of Kalinowski and Jones in fourth. Rounding out the novice division was Hardy in first, Moreno in second, and L. Birkenfeld in third.
The team is coached by Raul Valdez, graduate assistant in animal science. Dr. Clay Cavinder serves as faculty advisor.
This win marks the team’s second victory for the fall season. On Sept. 27, Texas A&M was named the champion team at the Stock Horse of Texas Show in Bryan.
“I am very proud of the success our team has had this fall, all of which is a reflection of the hard work and dedication to practice they have shown,” Valdez said. “Within the past two months, the team has fostered numerous individual champions and reserve champions at the contests and, more importantly, the team has collectively remained undefeated throughout the semester. This team continues to demonstrate the focus and determination that previous Texas A&M Stock Horse Teams have had during their road to a national championship.”
The American Stock Horse Association’s National Collegiate Championship will be held April 24, 2015, in Ardmore, Okla. For the past four years, Texas A&M teams have been named national champions twice and reserve national champions twice.
Olivia Norton ’16 is a junior animal science major from Texarkana, Texas.
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 (979) 845-1542.