Contest will take place during Montana 4-H Congress event and interview times will take place on Wednesday July 12, 2023. 


To provide an opportunity for all youth enrolled in 4‐H horse projects to demonstrate the skills they have developed in visually evaluating horses at halter and in performance classes. In addition, youth will demonstrate their knowledge of equine‐related equipment and subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. Through participating in this judging contest, youth can learn decision‐making and inquiry skills, gain self‐confidence, courage, develop the ability to speak in public and learn how to organize their own judging contest.


County teams must be made of 3 or 4 members, all of which must be eligible to attend the Western National Roundup in Denver. Those who have previously attended the Western National Roundup in Denver are not eligible to attend roundup again and must be entered as alternates at Montana 4‐H Congress. Countiescan enroll an unlimited number of alternates. Each county must declare the members of their team when they register for congress. If counties have less than 3 members that are eligible for the Western National Roundup they may join with an adjacent county or counties (the counties must share a common border) to make an eligible team or 3 or 4. There will be no substitutions on the team that goes to Denver. Members must compete in the Montana 4‐H Congress contest in order to eligible for the award trip to Denver. All contestants must be 4‐H members of the county(s) they are judging for.


The top team will receive some financial assistance to participate in the horse judging contest at the Western Regional 4‐H Roundup. Contestants must be bonafide 4‐H club members in the current year. Contestants must be at least 14 years of age and must not have passed their 19th birthday by October 1 of the current 4‐H year. Contestants must not have participated in any post‐secondary (university, college, junior college, or technical school) competitive horse judging contest. Neither can a contestant be a member of a post‐secondary team undergoing training in preparation for such an event. Team members cannot have been on a previous horse judging team that has judged at the Western Roundup or any other major national 4‐H judging event. Members on the team for team score cannot have attended a previous Western

Regional 4‐H Roundup in any way such as demonstrations, speech, meats, or livestock.

Members who have attended the Western Regional 4‐H Roundup previously as a 4‐H member will not be eligible to attend again even though they may win in a different contest. Delegates will be expected to pay some of the expenses for this trip.

Horse Judging Contest Scoring


Delegates will judge three (3) halter classes and three (3) working classes minimum.

Halter classes may consist of the following:

  • Aged Geldings
  • Aged Mares
  • Junior Mares
  • Junior Geldings
  • Horses born in the last year
  • Aged stallions
  • Junior stallions

(One class may be of a breed that is not as well known, could be gaited, or draft)

Performance classes may consist of:

  • Western Pleasure
  • Western Equitation (Horsemanship)
  • Hunter Under Saddle
  • Hunt Seat Equitation
  • Trail
  • Reining
  • Hunter Hack

Up to two classes may consist of:

  • Pleasure Driving
  • Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences
  • Competitive Driving (judged on driver)
  • Gaited Horse Pleasure Class
  • Saddle Seat Equitation
  • Saddle Seat Pleasure

Classes will be determined by the availability of horses and riders.


Reasons will be given on two (2) or more classes. Final placings will be given on all classes.


Please check with MSU Extension Publications and the current 4‐H Clover for the most up to date listing of available resources. Extension specialists may also be available to assist with your preparation in this contest area.