Texas Tech Livestock Judging Team Wins American Royal

The Texas Tech University livestock judging team won the American Royal Livestock Judging Contest by 31 points Sunday (Oct. 30) in Kansas City.

Thirty-two teams competed in 12 classes of livestock, containing four animals each. Classes included both breeding and market animals in beef, sheep/goat, and swine divisions. The contestants then appeared before the judges to present eight sets of oral reasons.

Other teams finishing in the top-five overall included Texas A&M, Western Illinois University, California State University-Chico and Oklahoma State.

The five team members who competed in the show were Clay Burson, a senior from Abilene; Brandi Capps, a senior from Dewey, Okla.; Jordan Clem, a senior from New Home; Kody Lucherk, a senior from Poth; and Brady Ragland, a senior from Wolfforth.

In addition, Texas Tech took first place in the beef judging and oral reasons divisions, as well as garnering three of the top ten individual spots. Capps received fourth place honors, while teammate Clem was only three points behind her for a sixth place finish. Burson finished in ninth place overall.

Additional members include:

● Logan Pritchett, a senior from Kingfisher, Okla.

● Clayton Gardner, a senior from Estancia, N.M.

● Tanner Kieschnick, a senior from Vernon

● Katie Rose McCullough, a senior from Castle Rock, Colo.

● Clay Morrison, a senior from Midland

● Nathan Pond, a senior from Wolfforth

● Nathan Reeves, a senior from League City

● Joel Riedel, a senior from Arroyo Grande, Calif.

● Markus Miller, a senior from Abernathy

● Loni Woolley, a senior from Grandview

The group is coached by Ryan Rathmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, along with graduate student Bryan Bernhard. The team will compete for the national livestock judging championship later this month at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville.

The 112-year-old American Royal, one of Kansas City’s premier fall events, annually hosts intercollegiate livestock judging contests, along with one of the Midwest’s largest and oldest livestock exhibitions and professional rodeos. During September, October and November, more than 250,000 people attend the American Royal events.

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CONTACT: Moriah Beyers, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2805 ext. 248, or moriah.beyers@ttu.edu.