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Oklahoma City, OK – December 26, 2008 - From California to the Northeast and Canada, as far as the deep-south into the heart of Texas, young collegians are trained in intricacies of judging Reining horses. The National Reining Horse Association celebrated its 20th anniversary of the NRHA Intercollegiate Judging Contest in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma during the 2008 NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship Show. West Texas A&M University, Dr. John Pipkin and Camille Hobbs were recognized for their accomplishments related to this equine educational event.

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The NRHA Board of Directors voted to retire the contest's perpetual bronze award trophy and house it with a base listing all the previous contest winners at the NRHA office. In honor of their diligence, determination and success in the field of Reining, a permanent Lawson Bronze was presented to West Texas A&M University and Dr. John Pipkin. Teams from West Texas A&M University, under the expert guidance of Dr. John Pipkin, won the coveted bronze eight times including the last seven years consecutively.

Dr. Pipkin has been an approved judge with five equine breed and discipline associations for over 10 years. He has judged more than 300 shows in 9 different countries. Pipkin is currently the Head of the Department of Agricultural Sciences, Director of Equine Industry Program, and Professor of Animal Science at West Texas A&M University where his duties include coaching the Horse Judging Team that has won over 50 National or World Champion or Reserve Champion titles, supervising the Equestrian Team that has won 25 Champion or Reserve Champion titles, in addition to teaching and research responsibilities. He is a Director for AQHA, and Vice-Chair of the AQHA Show Committee, and Chair of the Western Sub-Committee. His wife, Kenda, is also an AQHA, NRHA, NRCHA, and NSBA judge. They live in Amarillo with their two sons, John Luke and Joshua.

Camille Cofer Hobbs was recognized for her distinguished service to the creation, implementation and continuation of the NRHA Intercollegiate Judging Contest. She was honored at NRHA Futurity for 20 years of Exemplary Service as NRHA Collegiate Judging Contest Coordinator. Hobbs originally presented the idea of the contest to the NRHA Board of Directors in 1989. She has been a NRHA judge for 20 years and was the Association's first Volunteer of the Year in 1990. Hobbs, a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science, is married to Clarence, and is the mother of Kristen, Brie and Kyle. She is the grandmother to two children, Lexis and Jadin Hobbs. She is a long-time Edmond, Oklahoma resident and is a realtor with Century 21 Goodyear Green of Edmond and is an Arbonne International consultant.

Each year young apprentice judges match their skills against some of NRHA's finest judges at the NRHA Intercollegiate Judging Contest. For twenty years students and coaches have dedicated countless hours in preparation for this contest. NRHA's premier judging system has been taught and adopted by the colleges and universities across the US and into Canada. NRHA judges, rookie reiners, contestants and NRHA staff have come from their ranks. Almost 2,000 students and volunteer scribes have participated in this unique single event contest where students judge a live class with the winner being the one whose scores come closest to the actual Futurity judge's scores.


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