Category Archives: Equestrian

Category for equestrian related posts

Judson IHSA Western Horse Show a Success

by Rebecca O’Neal

Judson Equestrians hosted the final 2019-2020 season IHSA Western Shows here on February 15. Among the teams to attend were Auburn, Mississippi State, University of Alabama, and Berry College. Our riders did a fabulous job of representing Judson. Carmen Baty Hall placed fourth and first; Hope Langkow placed first and fourth; Tessa Thompson placed fourth and second; Casey  Rodgers placed second and fourth; Sam Pearce placed third in both; Tammie Hanlon placed second and first; Kat Hunter placed fifth in both; Holli Fondren placed reserve and fifth. The following weekend our huntseat riders competed at University of Alabama. They placed as follows: Two of our team members qualified for regionals. Tessa Thompson qualified at our home show. Jordan Miner qualified at the Berry College show. Tessa received fourth place. We are very proud of how well our team members have done this year! Congratulations girls!

For more articles like this, click below.

Editors' PickEquestrianSportsThe Triangle

“What a Fine Time to Major in Equine”

by Camry Sturdivant, Sports Editor

The Judson girls here aren’t just sugar, spice, and everything nice because this team of girls does not mind getting down and dirty and riding off in the wind. This particular group of girls is the Equestrian team at Judson College.  Judson College Equestrians compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Zone 5, Region 2 at various levels, including Beginner Walk/Trot and open divisions in both Hunt Seat and Western styles of riding. Judson’s on-campus equine center is located within easy walking distance of residence halls, administrative offices, and academic buildings.  The newly constructed facilities include great riding space under a covered arena, a jumping field and riding trails, and a 30-stall barn with tack rooms, a feed room, and a wash rack. If you pay and wish to have your childhood horse on campus, Judson even lets you bring your own horse. Your horse will stay in the facility, and you can care for it without even being apart of the equestrian team.

Equine Science can also be your major here at Judson College, which is a southern girl’s dream.  At Judson College, they have developed the Equine Science program with that interest in mind. The program is designed to both challenge a student academically and to provide her with the practical experience to achieve her goals, whatever they may be.  The Equine program here at Judson was Alabama’s first college to offer a Bachelor’s degree in Equine Science. Judson has a strong record of excellence in academic training for careers in the equine field. We have also won a couple of awards at shows. For example, Nicole Smith won a major equestrian award last year.  I talked with her on February 24 after WMU Bible study, and she said, “Our show this weekend at Auburn was fun. Getting to spend time with God’s creatures (horses) is amazing.”

In Judson’s Equine program, just like every other department here, they give us the best of the best to prepare you for the next step in your life.  You get to meet and work with professionals in the equine industry with shadowing experiences and directed internships. The coaches are the first professionals you meet; for instance, Jennifer Hoggle. She coaches the IHSA Western team here at Judson College.  In addition to her significant experience judging, organizing, and competing in horse shows, clinics, and rodeo competitions, Hoggle is a 1994 Judson graduate, and she was named Miss Rodeo Alabama in 1995. She also served as the IHSA Region President from 2008 to 2010. Next is coach Janice Palmer Williams, ‘83. She teaches riding courses and serves as the coach of Judson’s IHSA Hunt Seat team.  Janice has competed in numerous combined training events, and her horse Rowdy Games was named Quarter Horse of the Year by the American Quarter Horse Association in 1996.

Majoring in Equine Science here at Judson will give you the necessary training in career areas as diverse as barn management, professional riding, equine journalism, and therapeutic riding instruction and training.

Finally, Judson can also help Equine Science students join the Pre-Veterinary program, which offers all prerequisite courses for admission to veterinary school and gives you hands-on experience with horses. The girls can combine an Equine Science major with a strong background in traditional science courses. This puts them at the top of the list for admission into vet school.

The roster is divided into two teams.  Coach Hoggle’s Western team roster includes Kirsten Britnell, Hope Langkow, Samantha Pearce, Joy Thompson, Tessa Thompson, Lorna Wikle, and Baylee Woods.  Coach Williams’ Hunt Seat roster includes Kris Bradley, Marshá Hinkle, Kailee Ramsey, Lexy Small, Nicole Smith, and Anna Mag Reynolds. On June 5, 2018, Nicole Smith of Lowndesboro, Ala., was named the American Collegiate Horsemen’s Association (ACHA) Horseman of the Month for June.  This proves that Judson College has a great Equine program and has many other accolades to prove it.


For more articles like this, click below.

EquestrianSportsThe Triangle

Judson Equestrians Attend School Choice Rally

Judson girls in front of a bus
The Judson group preparing to depart for Montgomery

A series of students of every age and race began to file onto the stage, one by one. Each of them held up a large white sign, with a message written on it in black marker. The front would say something about how they didn’t feel like they belonged at school, or the school didn’t offer the classes they wanted to take, or they weren’t doing well in a particular subject. Then they would turn the sign over, and the reverse said how an alternative form of education had changed their life.

Student and professor selfie
Mercedes Barger snaps a selfie with Jennifer Hoggle

This display was part of a school choice rally held at the Montgomery Performing Arts  Center on Friday, January 27. Nine students from the Judson equestrian program —  Mercedes Barger, McKayla Birchfield, Kirsten Britnell, Tara Kamphuis, Hope Langkow,  Logan Lanier, Kathleen Morgan, Hannah Kate Stallo, and Kate Wright — attended the event, accompanied by Dr. Mitcham and Jennifer Hoggle. The rally was designed to bring  awareness to the need for students and their families to have options in education, such as charter schools and private colleges like Judson. Several schools had representatives speak in person and in promotional videos, and groups of students came on stage to lead  the crowd in a dance to “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. A highlight of the  event was the announcement that Alabama’s first charter school will be opened in the fall  of this year. The Judson College equestrian department attends this event each year to  represent the school.

Group selfie
Group selfie

When asked about the event, Dr. Mitcham noted that “As an institution of higher  education, we have a vested interest in the state of education in Alabama and we want to  support programs like the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship that benefit students from  across the state.”
Senior Mercedes Barger attended this year for the third time and said, “I feel that the  rally brings attention to an important cause while providing an exciting environment. I feel  this helps to show a positive example to the younger students present, so that they can  see that anything really is possible.”

For more articles like this, click below.

CommunityEquestrianThe Triangle

I met God at an Arena


“Would God really be at a horse arena? The answer, without a doubt is yes.”

-Vanessa Nicholson

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the phrase, “Horse Whisperer” before. Perhaps your mind wanders to a “Flicka” like moment when a horse and rider become one –remember to include the heart string pulling soundtrack provided. On the other hand, you might recall rough riding and a ****struggle/ of the wills. However, I would wager that you’ve never experienced a horse event like this, at least I didn’t.

Late September I was notified of this Horse Whispering event. Originally I was supposed to cover it for JudsonNOW as well as to publicize the Equine Department. I, being a novice horse person, “a greenhorn” as it were, was very intrigued by the opportunity to attend. It was to be held on Judson’s Campus just down the hill at our own barn. The event would be held at 6 p.m. on September 21st.  The concessions would benefit according to the email, “brand new Judson College chapter of the

American Collegiate Horseman Association.”

Unbeknownst to me, many things were coming together to make this event something unlike what I had ever witnessed before. Pastor John, head pastor of Siloam had canceled Wednesday night services so that his church congregation might be able to attend. Personally, I thought this was curious but thought nothing more of it. From what I’ve gathered, thanks to Mrs. Jennifer Hoggle, this event was the birth child of the Cahaba Baptist Association and Mr. Bill Wallace “in an effort to bring an evangelical opportunity to our area in hopes of reaching people in our communities.” Unfortunately, “Brother Bill” (as he was known by the community) passed away before the actual event could take place. And I would be amiss not to add the numerous amount of prayers that were offered up.

The faces of young, old, students and community members alike lined up to see a young colt (aptly named) Pistol make his entrance into the little round pen. As the horse wrangler began to speak, I realized that this wouldn’t be any ordinary rodeo. He spoke about the horse as a reflection of our own human condition in relationship to God. As the wrangler waited for the horse to simply look at him, so God waits for us to simply look at Him. Each lesson the young horse learned could be compared to our relationship with God.

Within the hour there was an altar call of sorts. The saddle with what the young colt had finally submitted to was laid in the middle of the round pen. Those who were tired of running away were offered a space to come and finally give anything and all to God, right there in the middle of a round pen. People slowly began to trickle into this round pen. It was intriguing to see the dynamic of strangers and friends sharing in this experience and praying for one another. For many people, this was where there relationship was renewed.

I asked Mrs. Vanessa Nicholson what she would have people learn about this event. What would she have students take away? She provided me with this insightful answer. “God is at work everywhere, all the time… Location is never a barrier to God and His work.  He can use all situations, environments, and events to show Himself.”

On a personal note, I understand this article is a little different from most. But I feel as though this event needed to be covered in a different light, with a different voice. With that said, this event (which I had originally expected to be about horsemanship) was undoubtedly unique and one that I won’t readily forget. Personally, I was faced with the condition of my own heart. At to this day, this event makes me continually wonder, am I willing to let God have control? But enough about me, I would like to leave you with a personal testimony.

There was a young man from Siloam that attended the Horse Whisperer event. He pointed over to the far side of the horse arena and said, “This is where my relationship with the Lord began.” He had attended Cowboy Church at the arena 2 years ago. Would God really be at a horse arena? The answer, without a doubt is yes.

Thanks to Mrs. Hoggle and Mrs. Nicholson for contributing their comments in order to write this article. They were greatly appreciated. -JR

For more articles like this, click below.

EquestrianOpinionsThe Triangle