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Last year, the inaugural Cross Border Classic Horse and Livestock Judging Contest was hosted by MSU Extension in Pondera and Toole Counties with great success. This year, because we couldn’t meet in person, the contest was held virtually the week of May 11.

Twenty-two 4-H members from across Montana and Alberta competed in the online contest. Montana counties represented were Broadwater, Dawson, Garfield, Judith Basin, Pondera, Powell, Richland, and Toole. Alberta 4-H districts represented were Hanna, Lethbridge, Newell, Vermilion River, and Willow Creek.

The members were welcomed with a Zoom meeting on the evening of May 11 and were given instructions on how to complete the contest. That night, and every night until May 15, the members received a link for a video class of goats, swine, sheep, beef heifers or horses and were asked to judge the classes, having their placings and reasons turned in within 24 hours. Official judges who gave the official placings for the classes and marked the members reasons were Makae Nack (Fort Benton), Travis Standley (Fort Shaw), Jay Good (Brooks, Alberta), Katie Emerson (Valier) and Cole Ratzburg (Sunburst).

After a long week of judging, all the placings and reasons scored were tallied and the winners announced. The top three members in the junior (8-13 years old) and senior (14 years and up) divisions received gift cards to their respective national 4-H store. In the junior division, third place was Delaney Clark (Toole County), second place was Dylan Clark (Toole County) and first place, with a total score of 348 out of a possible 400, was Cassidy Flynn from Broadwater County. In the senior division, third place was Kelty Raciborski (Dawson County), second place was Sadie Wauters (Lethbridge District), first place, with a total score of 354, was Lydia Vermulm, from Pondera County.

All the competing members did an excellent job with their reasons and placings, and we hope to be back in Shelby for an in-person contest next year!

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