Each spring, the State 4-H Horse Judging contest is held in Athens, Georgia at the UGA Instructional Arena. This contest is open to 4-H’ers from all over Georgia. County teams of up to twenty members compete against one another.

Contestants judge eight classes, four conformation and four performance classes. In addition, they give 2-4 sets of reasons to justify their placings and explain their decisions. 4-H’ers not only learn the basics of judging and placing horses, they also learn the valuable life skills of decision making, critical thinking, organization, teamwork, competition, public speaking, and self confidence.

Top teams and individuals are recognized, and awards are given. The State Winning Senior Team and the High Individual will be invited to attend the State Winners’ Recognition Banquet held at State Congress in July and will be eligible for Master 4-H Status.

The top four members of the first place senior team will be declared the state winning team. This team and the coach will be invited to represent Georgia at the Western National Roundup in Denver, CO. The first and second place senior team will also have the opportunity to compete at the Southern Regional Horse Championships in Perry, GA.

County teams begin forming and practices begin about two months before the State Contest. Contact your local County Extension office to sign up now.


Horse judging teams can reference a new resource from Dr. Kylee Jo Duberstein, Equine Specialist at UGA – Evaluating Horse Conformation. This publication is a highly valuable resource for teams, and covers horse judging principles like balance, structural correctness and muscling.

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