A unique opportunity for future horse judges to learn from anywhere will begin with the Virtual Horse Judging Academy being offered by Texas A&M AgriLife.
Utilizing a virtual reality headset to present a lifelike experience, participants will step into the virtual horse-judging ring during this immersive 12-week experience, said Jennifer Zoller, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horse specialist in the Texas A&M Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station.
The course fee is $450 and is limited to 20 seats. Each participant will be sent a virtual reality headset upon registration.
The course includes weekly webinars, access to instructors for question-and-answer sessions, online learning materials and select content presented in virtual reality.
“Horse judging is about evaluating the ability of a horse to perform certain requirements,” Zoller said.
This course allows participants to learn in a realistic setting, with the headsets giving each participant a unique perspective, she said. Additionally, they will practice time management, similar to what will be expected in a contest setting.
The course also will cover industry rules and standards, justifying placings, oral reasons and calculating scores using official placings and cuts.