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Students who participate in the Horse Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE) gain new insights into equine science by evaluating and ranking horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance. Participants defend their decisions through oral reasons in front of a panel of judges.


In this team CDE, students solve problems related to everything from the nutrition and reproduction of horses to the tack/equipment and feed used to care for horses. Participants strengthen their leadership, observation, analysis, critical thinking and communication skills while also developing and exercising a competitive team spirit and building an awareness of career opportunities within the equine industry.

Student contestants evaluate halter classes which include Quarter Horse, Conformation Hunter, Appaloosa, Arabian, Paint and Morgan; or they evaluate performance classes which may include Western Pleasure, Western Riding (Pattern One), reining, English Pleasure (Saddle Seat), Hunter Under Saddle (Hunt Seat), and Hunter Hack. Members give oral reasons explaining their placing of specific classes.

Expectations at Convention for Horse Evaluation
  • Official Dress required but students can wear warm clothing over the top while judging 

  • Official dress will be scored at the time of reasons

  • Students will remain in assigned groups

What SHOULD students bring? (Tools/equipment/materials)
  • Two pencils

  • Clean clipboards  

What can students NOT BRING for themselves? 
  • A steno, notebook or any paper materials

  • A calculator


What will get a student/team disqualified? 
  • Using cell phones during the event

  • Sharing answers with other participants

  • Talking to other participants during the event

  • Using any paper materials not provided by the event


What will be provided by the event?
  • Seating

  • Any required printed materials

  • Steno 6x9" notebook

  • Scantron sheet

Past Event Details

2021 Tack and Equipment Identification (Record in Questions/Exam Section)

2021 Performance Class Videos:

     Class 1: Hunt Seat Equitation - Instructions and Video

     Class 2: Western Pleasure - Video (Questions class)

     Class 3: Reining: Pattern and Video

2021 Placing Class Videos:

     Class 4: 3-year old Stock Fillies halter

     Class 5: Half Arabian Halter

     Class 6: Quarter Horse Geldings Halter (Questions class)

2021 Horse Officials and Keys

2021 Materials to duplicate


For your specific questions contact:


Dennis (BJ) Bjorklund

Minnesota FFA CDE Coordinator


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