The Cypress Woods High School FFA Horse Judging Team won the 2018 Texas Horse Cup this summer by Horsejudging.com. A career development event offered through the National FFA Organization, students evaluate and rank horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance. Members of the winning team were (from left) class of 2018 graduates Madison Wessling and Brianna Kilcommins, junior Catherine Halaska and senior Brianna Morton. (CFISD Courtesy photo)

CYPRESS — The Cypress Woods High School FFA Horse Judging Team was awarded the 2018 Texas Horse Cup this summer by Horsejudging.com, with the victory based on the cumulative results of 26 horse judging contests held between June 2017 and June 2018.

Members of the Cypress Woods Horse Judging Team were junior Catherine Halaska, senior Brianna Morton and class of 2018 graduates Brianna Kilcommins and Madison Wessling.

Horse Judging is a career development event offered through the National FFA Organization, which uses activities in both career and leadership development to help participating students become better individuals, teammates and leaders. Also known as Horse Evaluation, the event allows students insight into equine science by evaluating and ranking horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance.

Participation helps in building and strengthening leadership, observation, analysis, critical thinking and communication skills while also developing teamwork and an awareness of career opportunities within the equine industry.

“Judging taught me how to approach things from more than one angle in order to become a better, more well-rounded individual who wasn’t scared of new ideas,” Kilcommins said.

Cypress Woods finished with 2,163 total points, 115 more than the runner-up. The Wildcats earned eight top-20 finishes.

CFISD also had a second school place among the top 100 in the state with Cypress Creek High School placing 90th overall (267 points and two top-20 finishes).

“Cypress Woods High School is extremely proud of the dedication and hard work these students have put forward and anticipate another competitive judging season during the 2018-2019 school year,” said Gary Kinninger, Cypress Woods principal. “The Cypress Woods Horse Judging Team represents what the agricultural program at ‘The Woods’ stands for – 212 efforts at all levels.”

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