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Orange FFA team wins recent state competition in horse evaluation

Four FFA members from the Orange High School chapter recently won the State FFA Horse Evaluation Career Development Event, which was held April 9 in Martin County. These students took the top honors from among 26 teams and 89 individual competitors. Orange team members are Samantha Durham, Allie Wilkerson, Chloe Hoffman and Hayleigh Whipp. Samantha Durham, an OHS junior, had the highest score for the entire contest. She bested all 89 individuals in horse evaluation. The FFA Advisor & Agriculture Teacher for Orange High School is Alexis Cates.

She said, “I am extremely proud of these young women for their outstanding accomplishment.  They have put in countless hours of preparation getting ready for the state contest, and their efforts definitely paid off.”

In the horse evaluation event, students demonstrate their ability to reason and communicate about equine selection, management, and production. Participants are responsible for evaluating classes of horses composed of performance and halter. Participants then give oral reasons for their selections to a panel of judges and later receive scores for their reporting.

The North Carolina Horse Council was the sponsor for this year’s state Horse Evaluation Career Development Event/Competition.

With Orange being the highest scoring team in the state, they will compete in the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana in October. The National competition is more involved and has more sections/parts than the State Contest does, said Cates.  The team of four will be preparing for October by attending horse shows, speaking with industry professionals, and putting in a lot of practice hours from now until then.

In addition, the top three teams from the state event, and our high scoring individual, Ms. Durham, will be formally recognized during the North Carolina FFA State Convention in Raleigh June 21-23. The state conference will feature a college and career fair expo, vendor participation from the ag and equine industry, student workshops, and many more opportunities for learning and growing.

FFA is a youth organization of over 24,000 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture with 338 local chapters across the state. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for “premier leadership, personal growth, and career success” through agricultural education.

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