UW livestock judging team big winmner at the Arizona National | TheFencePost.com

UW livestock judging team big winmner at the Arizona National

The University of Wyoming livestock judging team after their Arizona National win, left to right, Logan Despain, Laramie, Wyo.; Alexi Goodnow, Craig, Colo.; Jacob Lacey, Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Shanan Davey, Olathe, Colo.; Stephanie Connelly, Bridgeport, Neb.; Justin Terry, Grants Pass, Ore.; Alexis Wivell, Smock, Penn.; Zackery Schumaker, Sweet Springs, W.V.; Tiffaney Connelly, Bridgeport, Neb.; Shelbie Sperle, Parker, Colo.; Rachel Serrell, Castle Rock, Colo.; Caleb Boardman, coach.

This past year marked one of the most successful seasons for the University of Wyoming's livestock judging program. This year, coach Caleb Boardman and his 11-person team traveled to the Arizona National in Phoenix, Ariz., and started the year off with a bang.

The New Year's Eve contest offered several champions from the show and Boardman said the quality of livestock was excellent. Nine universities competed, making it smaller than some other national contests but larger than that particular contest has been in years past. Seventy-five individual contestants evaluated the livestock and presented oral reasons to officials.

"Dr. Clint Rusk, the department chair at Oklahoma State University now, took over the contest last year so it's his second year," Boardman said. "It's an extremely high-quality contest. The kids did a good job handling them and did what it takes to win."

UW was the champion team overall, high team in swine, high team in sheep and goats, third in reasons, and third in cattle. Individually, five team members were in the top 14. Logan Despain, Laramie, Wyo., was first; Zackery Schumaker, Sweet Springs, W.V., was third, Justin Terry, Grants Pass, Ore., was fifth; Alexi Goodnow, Craig, Colo., was ninth, and Shanan Davey, Olathe, Colo., was 14th. Despain was also second in reasons, first in hogs, fifth in cattle, and fifth in sheep and goats. Schumaker was fifth in cattle and Terry was sixth in cattle.

The team traveled and practiced through Texas as they made their way back to Laramie, Wyo., to begin preparation for the National Western Stock Show contest, visiting operations in Colorado and Wyoming. From there they will compete at Sioux Falls, S.D., San Antonio and Houston, Texas.

Boardman's father was the livestock judging coach at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., for 18 years and he followed suit, judging at Coffeyville, Kan., before graduating, judging, and coaching at Texas A&M. This is his fourth year at the University of Wyoming. ❖

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— Gabel is an assistant editor and reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at rgabel@thefencepost.com or (970) 392-4410.