March 19, 2012

Sign-up under way for horse judging workshop

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Do you have to get in the saddle to know if a horse will be suitable for a particular task?  That’s the final test, sure, but to the trained eye, a horse’s conformation -- its form and structure -- provide valuable clues to its overall quality, soundness and ability to work.

A senior lecturer at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is planning a workshop that will help equestrians size up a horse from hooves to tail.

Stephanie Speiser, a senior lecturer in the Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will hold a horse judging workshop next month.  The event is set for 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 7, at the University Farms Metabolism and Physiology Center, 2422 Union Hill Road in Carbondale.

Speiser, a horse judge and coach of the SIU Carbondale Horse Judging Team, along with members of the team, will teach basic and advanced techniques in placing horses in halter classes and judging their physical anatomy.  The class is geared toward preparing for youth judging contests, but is open to anyone interested.

Organizers will follow up classroom information with hands-on learning, teaching participants to assess individual horse conformation and finish with judging a class of horses.

Cost for the workshop is $10 and enrollment is limited. To register, contact Speiser at or 618/453-1773.