Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team claims sixth national championship title
By: George Watson
Add another national championship to the Texas Tech University resumé. This time, it's the Ranch Horse Team in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences -- they brought home the gold this past weekend at the Hughes Trailers Collegiate Ranch & Stock Horse Championship at the Tri-State Fairgrounds in Amarillo.
The team from Texas Tech captured the program's sixth national championship and first since 2016 by dominating three other teams in the competition. With the win, the Ranch Horse Team not only earns the national title, but also the use of a Canyon-based Hughes Ranch Trailer for one full year. The team ended a four-year title drought with strong performances at all three levels – Non-Pro, Limited and Novice.
“The Ranch Horse Team was started in 2005 by Kris Wilson at Texas Tech,” said Justin Stanton, the current coach of the Ranch Horse Team. “With fewer than eight members, they were the beginning of a program that would provide the resources, connections and experiences to set them up for their future careers, families and lives. These students are phenomenal, and I am so proud to be able to watch them go and continue to expand the influence of the great program.”
Texas Tech won the overall Division I competition with a two-go-round score of 288, easily outpacing nearby rival West Texas A&M, which finished second with 218.5 points, while former Big 12 Conference and Southwest Conference rival Texas A&M finished third with 208 points.
The top two scorers in each of the three divisions comprised the six team members who make up the points riders, even though Texas Tech sent 25 riders into the competition. Riders competed in four riding events – Ranch Pleasure, Ranch Reining, Ranch Trail and Ranch Cow Horse. Texas Tech scored a 148 in the first go-round and a 140 in the second go-round.
Leading the Texas Tech charge in the Non-Pro division were Sidney Dunkel from Archer City and Gracen Walker from Canadian. Dunkel scored 30 of a possible 40 points in the first go-round and 31 in the second go-round, while Walker scored a 29 and an 18.5. Dunkel, aboard Bobbie Can Do, finished first in the year-end points race with an even 100 points in the Non-Pro division. Colton Baca from Vega finished second with 87 points aboard Paid to Dual XI, while Walker finished third with 77.5 point aboard RC Shiner Doc.
In the Limited division, Sarita Short from Voss totaled 22 points in the first go-round and 17 in the second, while Sawyer Sanders from Era totaled 19 points in the first round and 27.5 in the second. Texas Tech's Teghan Brooks from Wolfforth, riding aboard Vons Judgement, finished second in the year-end points race with 203.50.
In the Novice division, Texas Tech's Chesney Reeves from Central City, Nebraska, totaled 24 points in the first go-round and 22 in the second go-round, while Elizabeth Richardson from Poolville scored 22 points in the first go-round and 24 in the second. In the year-end points total, Linsey Farrell from Anna took second place riding aboard Times R Tough, and Grace Blackwell from Checotah, Oklahoma, finished third riding aboard Sporty Gonehollywood.
Other members of the Ranch Horse Team are:
· Jordan Cheek from Hico
· Ben McArtney from Throckmorton
· Matt Major from Magdalena, New Mexico
· Iris Baker from Dripping Springs
· Sarah Garner from Azle
· Abigail Broger from Three Forks, Montana
· J'cee Petty from Adrian
· Maeley Herring from Archer City
· Franklin Buccholz from Eldorado
· Ethan Smith from Floydada
· Jenna Evans from Lucas
· Riley Pape from Mason
· Maddie St. John from Fort Worth
· Gracey Taylor from Kent
· Jessie Herbst from Lampasas
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor: Norman Martin
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