AFS’s Teghan Brooks wins inaugural Kris Wilson Top Hand Award
By: Allen Ramsey
As part of last week's national championships in Amarillo, the National Intercollegiate Ranch & Stock Horse Association handed out the Kris Wilson Top Hand Award for the first time. Teghan Brooks, a senior majoring in equine production in the Texas Tech Department of Animal & Food Sciences, won the top honor.
“To be chosen for this award is the greatest honor I've ever received,” she said. “Growing up, I knew Kris and I really admired what he promoted. I will always keep this award close to my heart.”
As part of the national competition, individual winners from across the three divisions were judged and the top performer – Brooks – was chosen for the special award. Overall, it was a great showing for Texas Tech in general. The Ranch Horse Team brought home its third straight team national championship and captured individual titles across all three divisions at the NIRSHA championships.
A ranch horse competition is composed of four different events: reining, cow, pleasure, and trail. The collegiate competition is divided into three divisions: non pro, limited non pro, and novice. Each school selects two riders from each division to comprise their team – the group competing for the team national title.
The reining class is made to evaluate certain maneuvers including stops, spins, circles, lead changes and run downs in a standard pattern. The cow class demonstrates a horse and rider's ability to control the movement of a single cow. The pleasure class shows how well a horse travels within each gait that might be used on a ranch. The trail class is composed of many obstacles a horse may encounter while working on a ranch.
The Kris Wilson Top Hand Award is more than just a name on an award to Teghan Brooks. “Kris Wilson created the first ever ranch horse team here at Texas Tech in 2005,” she said. “He wanted to give college students an opportunity to show their ranch horses competitively and promote the ranching industry.”
There are also family ties to Kris Wilson, who worked with Chance Brooks, Teghan Brooks' father and the current interim chair of the Department of Animal & Food Sciences. “National championships are always special, but this one is extra special,” he said. “Dr. Kris Wilson and I were colleagues when he was a faculty member in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences."
Wilson's goal was to create experiential learning opportunities and competitions for college students with ranch and stock horse interests. “Team competitions give us the freedom to be the best version of ourselves while providing an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than our individual selves,” Chance Brooks said.
CONTACT: Clint Krehbiel, Dean, Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or Clint.Krehbiel@ttu.edu
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