A student from Thomson was among the winners at a special equine event held recently at the Fort Valley State University Equine Center.
High school and college students from several states and Puerto Rico attending a summer biotechnology program learned the essentials of horse care and showmanship skills from Curtis Borne, professor of agriculture education at Fort Valley State University.
As a state partner with the Cooperative Extension Program, Dr. Borne taught the participants, ranging in age from 6 to over 30, how to groom, feed and judge horses. They also learned horse safety and showmanship skills.
On June 28 the participants put these skills to use during a horse show. During the show, each participant demonstrated their riding ability and competed in age division halter classes.
Halter class winners in each age group were: Robin Hill, 6, from Fort Valley; Lindsey Frost, 8, from Byron; Hayley Hanson, 11, from Byron; Michael Murtgh, 12 from Fort Valley, Ga.; Nezhla Sanderson (Miss Allen University in South Carolina) from Nashville, Ind.; and James Morgan (a 2007 graduate of FVSU) from Thomson.
All of the participants were awarded certificates after demonstrating their riding ability. Championship trophies sponsored by the FVSU FFA Alumni were presented to Hill, Frost, Morgan, Hanson and Sanderson.
"I was almost as proud of the children as their parents and grandparents were during the horse show," Dr. Borne said. "I could tell that the children, parents and grandparents really started loving the horses and learned how to work as teams by helping each other groom the horses."