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Equine Judging Team

OSU Equine Judging Team


Collegiate horse judging offers exciting and challenging opportunities for students seeking to further their knowledge of the horse industry. Judging team participation opens the door for students to become professional judges, ring stewards, college professors, educators and effective communicators.

Outside of learning to judge horses, students gain valuable tools that will be beneficial in personal growth and career success, including:

  • Development of public speaking skills
  • Interaction with horse industry professionals
  • Opportunity to travel
  • Team-building, and much more!

Judging begins in the spring with an introductory course and continues into the fall semester where competition schedule increases. Students enroll in two 2-credit courses. Course curriculum consists of weekly practices and learning all the major disciplines. Contests are a rigorous mental test and rulebook test of the student’s knowledge. Competitive judging prepares students well for the judges qualifying exam in the professional horse show industry.


To have continued support towards the Judging team and create a legacy where students who participate on the team can be supported with resources and scholarships, it is our plan to create an endowment. Steven Cooper and Sarah Schobert are planning to raise $50,000, which would be used to continually support judging teams, year after year. This will create long-term stability to the horse judging program.

On this website, you will soon find Endowment Fund link, which will direct you to a form that can be filled out and mailed back to the OSU Foundation if you would like to provide your support. Contributions are tax deductible. The OSU Horse Judging Team has a tradition of industry leaders and strong alumni. We would greatly appreciate your help and support to achieve our goal. To donate, visit OSU Giving.

Recent News

OSU Horse Judging Team Named 2018 AQHA World Champions.

The 2018 Horse Judging Team finished off the season strong, claiming the AQHA World Champion Horse Judging Team title. We could not be more proud of this hardworking group!

The team is coached by Dr. Steven Cooper, Marissa Chapa, and Mattie Lemmons. Team members include Jessica Read, Courtney Weidenmann, Addie Shotts, Katelynn Priest, Ryleigh Semanchik, Grayson Cottrell, Lyndsey Harvey, Justin Dewbre, Lori Cohen, Rachel Scott, Georgena Ratliff, Nicole Wurzel, Cody Garcia, Leah Jumper, and Sadie Jenkins.
We would also like to thank Duffy Dry Clean City, Cook Feed & Outdoor, and the Cline Family for all of their continued support!

The 2018 Oklahoma Horse Judging Team Win All American Quarter Horse Congress.

The 2018 Horse Judging Team continued a legacy and made OSU history, winning the All American Quarter Horse Congress, claiming a 3 year track of consecutive champions. Not only did they claim this feat, but they also were named Congress Champions and Reserve Congress Champions overall. We are so proud of their great attitudes and hard work!

2018 National Champion Horse Judging Team

2018 AQHA World Champions

Honors & Recognition

  • 9 AQHA World Championships
  • 4 AQHA Reserve World Championships
  • 6 AQHA Congress Championships
  • 3 National Reining Horse World Championships
  • 2 APHA Reserve World Championships
  • 2 National Western Championships
  • 2 Morgan National Championships
  • 3 Tulsa State Fair Championships
  • 3 Spring Sweepstakes Championships

All Americans

  • Amanda Burrows (2008)
  • Kristi Wright-Burton (2008)
  • Travis Timmons (2010)
  • Carrie Doyle (2011)
  • Emily Handke (2012)
  • Lauren Wells (2012)
  • Katie Jordan (2013)
  • Sarah Schobert (2013)
  • Jessica Neal (2014)
  • Jenalee Nies (2014)
  • Marissa Chapa (2015)
  • Faith Onstot (2015)
  • Hope Onstot (2015)
  • Taylor Gilbert (2016)
  • Rebecca Janes (2016)
  • Jenna Kool (2016)
  • Hana Murphy (2016)
  • Macy Perry (2016)
  • Dylan Price (2016)
  • Garrett Reed (2016)
  • Franchesca Rollerson (2016)
  • Brooke Catterton, Kayleigh Crane, Emily Haak, Karli Jones, Mattie Lemmons, and Krista Rodney (2017)


  • Spring Contest, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Tulsa State Fair, Tulsa, OK
  • AQHA Congress Show, Columbus, OH
  • AQHA World Championship Show, Oklahoma City, OK
  • National Reining Horse Futurity, Oklahoma City, OK.
  • APHA World Show, Fort Worth, TX

Team Photos

All of our judging team photos are available online on Flickr.

Horse Judging DVD

To order or learn more about our Horse Judging DVD, click here!

About Us


The OSU Equine Judging Team began in 1979. Since then, the team has won 9 AQHA World Championships, 4 AQHA Reserve World Championships, 6 AQHA Congress Championships, and 3 National Reining Horse Championships.

About the Coach

Steven Cooper coaches the OSU Horse Judging Team. He has coached seven out of nine of OSU’s AQHA World Championships, including the 2016 World Champion Team which made OSU history by becoming the first equine judging team to ever go undefeated all season. He also serves an AQHA and Ranch Horse Versatility carded judge.


“Judging is a lot more than just lining up 4 head. It is about building yourself and others. You build lifelong relationships, confidence, decision-making skills, public speaking ability, and knowledge of the industry. The things judging teaches you are simply unmeasurable and priceless.”

- Marissa Chapa, 2015 AQHA World Champion Team Member

“If judging practice does not make you nervous; it is not challenging you enough. I was quick to find this true because I would show up to practice so nervous, but I knew my success and future depended on what we did that day!”

- Hope Onstot, 2015 AQHA World Championship High Individual, 2015 AQHA World Champion Team Member

“Being on the Horse Judging Team here at OSU, is not only one of the greatest opportunities I have ever had, but being a member of this amazing team is what made this experience so special. We worked so hard, whether it was getting up early for workouts, staying late at practice, or even practicing when we didn't have practice scheduled is what made our work pay off in the long run. I loved every minute watching horses. However, seeing how the judging experience, especially in the reasons room, has helped in my public speaking skills and the career path I plan to follow is invaluable. The friendships that I created while on this team will last me a lifetime. I highly recommend the program if you want to pursue judging. Just do it! It will be one of your best memories here at OSU!”

- Laura Kerschen, 2015 AQHA World Champion Team Member

“Judging is about three things, where you start and where you end, but it’s in the middle where champions are made. Practice hard and practice long because it will reward you.”

- Faith Onstot, 2015 AQHA World Champion Team Member

Contact Information

We invite you to learn more about our department and the many opportunities available to you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me

Steven Cooper
Steven Cooper

Equine Judging Coach
109B Animal Science

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