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Horse Evaluation


The purpose of the FFA Horse Evaluation Career Development Event is to: (a) promote the study of and interest in equine science selection, care and well being, management and production through the agricultural education curriculum; (b) encourage experiential learning through the use of practical skills and applied knowledge; (c) provide recognition for those who have demonstrated skills and competencies as a result of instruction in equine science.



  1. To instill leadership and motivate learning in the classroom through the development of student skills in cooperative learning, observation, analysis and communication. 
  2. To develop and exercise competitive spirit in a team atmosphere. 
  3. To create a foundation for career choices by building an awareness of opportunities within the equine industry. 
  4. To advance knowledge in equine science selection, care and well being, management and production of horses. 
  5. To provide the opportunity to evaluate, make decisions and orally justify decisions on conformation traits and performance of horses. 


Event Rules

  1. Location of the event will be the OSU Totusek Arena in Stillwater.  
  2. Registration must be completed online at by the deadline. Note: This date is different than the remainder of State Interscholastics. No other entries will be accepted.  
  3. Contest check-in starts at 8:00 AM and closes at 8:45 AM. The contest will begin promptly at 9:00 AM.  
  4. No hats are to be worn by contestants during the contest.  
  5. All in-hand classes will be judged as sound, and all performance classes will be judged as they go, in regard to soundness.  
  6. AQHA novice rules will be used in Hunter Under Saddle and Western Pleasure classes in reference to headset and head carriage.  
  7. All tack and attire of rider/handler will be considered equal and legal.  
  8. All questions should be directed to contest officials. The contest coordinator has full authority to disqualify contestants violating this rule.  


Event Format

Team Make-Up

  1. Two teams per school or chapter (8 students total) will be allowed to participate; however, the second team will not give reasons. 
  2. Both teams and all individuals will be eligible for placing awards. 
  3. Only the first team will present reasons and be eligible for reasons and overall awards. 
  4. If a chapter has more than 8 individuals, additional individuals are allowed to compete in the novice division. 


  • Materials each participant needs to provide: 
    • Clipboard 
    • Two sharpened No. 2 pencils for placing classes 
    • Steno Notebook 
  • Materials provided by the contest superintendent: 
    • Universal Form A 705J-1 Scan Sheet 

Section Classes - (600 points)

  • There will be a total of eight classes judged, two to four classes of halter and four to six classes of performance events. There will be four classes of reasons, two reasons classes in each area. Classes will be approximately 12– 15 minutes in length. All classes will be 50 points. 
  • Oral reasons should not exceed two minutes in length. Use of notes for reasons will be penalized a minimum of 10 points. 
  • Four halter classes will be judged. Halter classes may be represented by the following breeds and types: Quarter Horse, Conformation Hunter, Appaloosa, Arabian, Paint, American Saddle Bred and Morgan. All halter classes will be judged as sound.
  • Performance classes may include: Western Horsemanship, Hunt Seat Equitation, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, Reining, Hunter Under Saddle (Hunt Seat), Trail and Hunter Hack, Ranch Pleasure (Ranch Riding), Showmanship, Ranch Rail Pleasure and Ranch Trail. Performance classes will be judged as presented (unsoundness to be penalized accordingly).
  • Use of video classes is a possibility. 
  • Patterns will be provided to the teams prior to the start of the event for all classes requiring patterns. 
    • Contestants are allowed to have rulebooks, steno notebook, and scoring grids 
    • Contestants are not allowed to carry terminology lists or sample reasons 



Selection Classes - 400 
Reasons - 200 
Total Points 
Individual - 600 
Team - 1800 



Ties will be broken in the following order:


  1. Oral reasons total 
  2. Performance classes total 
  3. Halter classes total  

Overall Team 

  1. Team oral reasons total 
  2. Team performance classes total 
  3. Team halter classes total 



This list of references is not intended to be all-inclusive. Other sources may be utilized, and teachers are encouraged to make use of the very best instructional materials available. The following list contains references that may prove helpful during event preparation. 


Supplemental Materials and Forms

Horse Evaluation Scansheet (Universal Form A, 705J-1)

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