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State 4-H/FFA Horse Judging Contest

The 2023 State 4-H/FFA Horse Judging Contest will be held April 1 at the covered arena of the UF Horse Teaching Unit in Gainesville. Check-in for 4-H is from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. and everyone should be seated in the stands and ready to begin by 9:20. Awards will be presented at roughly 4:30 p.m. that afternoon. The contest will consist of 6-8 placing classes – up to four halter and four performance. Reasons will be given on four of the classes and there will be no questions classes. When reasons are completed and after the discussion of the classes, there will be an opportunity for everyone to relax, listen to music, and socialize before the awards presentations. Awards will be presented to the top individuals and teams in halter, performance, and reasons as well as to the highest individuals and teams overall.

The winning team is eligible to compete at the National 4-H Horse Judging Contest in Louisville, KY (November). The first and second place team may compete at Southern Regionals in Perry, GA.


Each county may enter two senior teams (14 and over as of September 1, 2022) of three or four members. Registration on 4-H Online is required by March 24.  All adults traveling with the team should register as well. Coach's registration will ask how team members should be sorted.

Individuals may be entered if a county does not have enough youth to fill a team. If there are individuals from a second county, we will ask both coaches and agents if they would like to join to compete as a team. 

An entry fee of $25 per team is required at registration. Checks should be written to "Florida 4-H Foundation". Contestants and one coach per team will be provided lunch, as will any adults serving as group leaders or reasons monitors. Additional adults can register to be included in the lunch count ($5 each). 

Entrant Eligibility

  • Must be Senior 4-H members (14 or older at beginning of 4-H year) and approved to represent the county at a State 4-H event by the County 4-H Agent.
  • Must not have been members of previous state-winning 4-H teams in Horse Judging.
  • Must not have participated in the National 4-H or FFA contest in Horse Judging.
  • Rare exceptions may be made on a case by case basis with the Specialist in charge of the State contest.

To help plan/prepare

A copy of the judging card can be found here. Please be sure that your team members are familiar with the card and know how to fill it out correctly. Cards filled out incorrectly may be discarded and zero scores awarded. To help everyone be familiar with the cards, a section of this website gives examples and explanations on filling out the card correctly.

Youth will be expected to bring their own supplies - pencils, clipboard, paper, etc.

There are plenty of motels in the area. Any of the motels on the Archer Road exit, Williston Road exit, or South 13th Street would be convenient, but you might want to avoid the ones on SW 13th St. and the Williston Rd exit, as they probably are not the best for traveling with youth.

Potential Classes:

Halter Classes:
- Andalusion
- Arabian
- Quarter Horse (or mixed Stock Type)
- Morgan
- Tennessee Walkers
- Paso Fino
- Hunters
- Appaloosa
- Thoroughbred
- Buckskin
- Paint
- Saddlebred
- Draft Horses
- Miniature

Performance Classes:
- Western Pleasure
- Hunter Hack
- Hunter Under Saddle
- Hunt Seat Equitation
- Western Riding
- Western Horsemanship
- Reining
- English Pleasure (Saddle Seat)
- Plantation Pleasure
- Ranch Riding
- Pleasure Driving

Previous State 4-H Horse Judging Results:

2018 (pdf)
2017 (pdf)
2016 (pdf)
2015 (pdf)
2014 (pdf)
2013 (pdf)
2012 (pdf)
2011 (pdf)
2010 (pdf)
2009 (pdf)
2008 (pdf)