The 2023 National Championship Hughes Trailer was brought home to Lubbock last week.
Texas Tech University's Ranch Horse Team won its third straight team national championship and captured individual titles across all three divisions at the National Intercollegiate Ranch and Stock Horse Association national championships last week in Amarillo.
The Ranch Horse Team is judged in four disciplines – cow work, reigning, ranch trail and ranch riding – with two riders in each division compiling their scores to make up the overall team score.
Texas Tech claimed the Division I national title and brought home the prestigious Hughes Horse Trailer, given as a trophy to the winner.
Riders selected as part of the team competition included Jordan Cheek, Trail Townsend, Teghan Brooks, Iris Baker, Kacy Maurer and Jessie Herbst.
“We spend all year getting ready for this,” said Justin Stanton, coach of the Ranch Horse Team. “Last year before we even came home from our national championship, we were saying ‘Good job guys, let's go get it again.'
“That was our focus for the past 12 months. Every show we went to, every practice show, every weekend show, in our minds it was a preparation for this show. To see all that preparation pay off really makes everything worth it. These kids are awesome.”
Team members also compete for individual titles.
Cheek, riding horse R Chances, finished as the national champion in the Non Pro division, while Brooks and mount Vons Judgement finished atop the Limited Pro division and LaKayla Phillips finished as national champion of the Novice division on her horse SCR Playin' One Time.
Brooks also was presented with the Kris Wilson Top Hand Award – a new honor paying tribute to the late Kris Wilson, coach of the first Ranch Horse Team at Texas Tech – as the top performer at the competition.
The top overall scoring individuals from each division were considered for the award, with judges selecting Brooks the winner and awarding her an Oliver Bros. Saddlery saddle.
Other members of the Texas Tech team finishing in the top-10 in the Non Pro division were fourth-place Tylor Todd and horse Voodoo Whiskey; eighth-place Townsend and horse Lil Purple Rein; and 10th-place Evan Means and horse Chapos Esperanza.
In the Limited Non Pro division other top-10 finishers were reserve national champion Bree Westbrook and horse Trixies Sixes; eighth-place Iris Baker and horse Fletching The Cat; and 10th-place Ethan Smith and horse LalaLoopsy.
In the Novice division other top-10 finishers were third-place Jessie Herbst and horse Times R Tough; fifth-place Jaci Brown and horse TS If U Havethe Cash; eighth-place Maurer and horse Betty Rey; and ninth-place Mary Roccaforte and horse Pooch.