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.