GREENSBURG — Both North Decatur High School (NDHS) FFA Horse and Pony teams returned from the annual state contest Saturday with wins in the top three of the state.

The Indiana FFA/4-H State Horse and Pony Contest features rigorous competition with many other members from around the state. North Decatur had teams competing at the junior high and high school levels.

The junior high team, which includes Gracie Osting, Raegan Nobbe and Caitlyn Osting, placed second in the state in their division.

The high school team of Olivia Vanderbur, Jane Spreckelson, Sidney Ricke and Mandy Hasselbring, placed third in the state among the high school FFA division.

During the contest, participants are required to evaluate horses for performance traits as well as conformation characteristics, both of which require knowledge and skill.

“Following the evaluation and ranking of the classes, they are then required to present oral reasons to the contest judges explaining their placings,” said NDHS FFA Advisor Scott Johnson. “At the state contest, the students evaluated eight classes of horses and presented oral reasons over four of them.”

To qualify for competition at the state level, teams must first have won a qualifying spot at their local area contest. The high school team took first place at the Area I contest, which was held in April at Scott County. The junior high team placed second.

Johnson said the teams have been invited to represent Indiana at the national competition, the American Quarter Horse Congress contest Oct. 17 in Columbus, Ohio.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111x7004;