Archer County 4-H to compete in national competition

Local News

ARCHER CO(KFDX/KJTL)- Some Texoma kids are preparing to travel to Denver for a competition against teams from around the nation, at a stock show known as the “Super Bowl” of livestock shows.

After placing fourth out of 30 teams in Texas, these kids from Archer County are gearing up to compete against many from across the country in the National Western Stock Show.

The National Western Stock Show has been running since 1906 and it promotes youth and community development, by teaching and promoting diversity and values such as integrity and community.

From a young age Layten Graham, Randa Elliott and Blake Dunkel have been judging livestock in various stock shows.

“We’ve all been judging since we were nine,” Graham said, “This is our first year judging as a senior team together.”

Generally, these events test the teams’ skills at judging animals such as pigs, cattle, and horses based on their breeding standards.

At the National Western Stock Show, the Archer County 4-H team will have to judge each horse and give it a score.

Their goal is to have their rating match as close as possible to the official judges.

“Everybody has their own opinion about a few things but there’s a lot of things that are very specific set by the rules,” Horse Judging Coach Jill Dunkel said. “So the kids have to really know these rules, study these rules and evaluate the classes and the horses that they see.”

“Whichever horse basically you would want to own, place that horse first, the one you would not want to own, place it last,” competitor Dunkel said.

This team from Archer County placed third at a state horse judging competition last month and that won them a spot in the national competition for the first time ever, but these kids learn more than just judging livestock.

“To be able to speak publicly, make decisions and be able to defend our position on those decisions that we make,” competitor Elliot said.

Graham, Dunkel and Elliott hope the skills they develop from these competitions will come in handy in their future endeavors.

Since 2013, there have been three teams from Archer County to advance to national competition and once they compete at this level they will not be able to compete in this show again, so they are hoping to make this one count.

To learn more about the National Western Stock Show, follow this link.

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