The Virginia Tech Horse Judging Team took top honors at the Middle Tennessee State All-Breeds Horse Judging Contest in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on March 27.

Fifteen teams from eight colleges and universities around the country participated in the event. The two teams representing Virginia Tech placed first and third.

The team members are:

  • Amanda Bowen of Jarrettsville, Md., a sophomore double-majoring in dairy science and animal and poultry sciences
  • Diana Campbell of Colonial Heights, Va., a junior majoring in English
  • Ashley Clark of Leesburg, Va., a sophomore double-majoring in business management and animal and poultry sciences
  • Lauren Cummings of Virginia Beach, Va., a junior majoring in agricultural and applied economics
  • Tara Fickling of Boone, N.C., a junior majoring in political science
  • Jeni Lamb of Broomfield, Colo., a junior double-majoring in agricultural and applied economics and political science
  • Tracey Maier of Chesapeake, Va., a sophomore majoring in business management
  • Collins Mehfoud of Madison, Va., a junior majoring in agricultural and applied economics
  • Meredith Kathleen Park of Philomont, Va., a sophomore majoring in animal and poultry sciences
  • Kate Walker of Herndon, Va., a senior majoring in animal and poultry sciences
  • Danielle Wroblewski of Constantia, N.Y., a junior majoring in animal and poultry sciences


Julia McCann, instructor of animal and poultry sciences, coaches the team – all students in her Applied Equine Evaluation course. Five of the top 10 individual winners were Virginia Tech students: Wroblewski placed third, Bowen placed fifth, Park placed sixth, Maier placed eighth, and Clark placed ninth.

In a horse judging competition, each contestant observes and judges several classes of horses based on the horses’ physical attributes and performance as compared to the breed standard. Contestants must then memorize and present two-minute oral reasons to an official, describing why they placed the class as they did.

The other teams that scored in the top five for this year’s team judging competition were Purdue University in second place and University of Florida teams in fourth and fifth place.

Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 2,400 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.