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UW Livestock Judging Team finishes season

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The University of Wyoming’s (UW) Livestock Judging Team finished their season at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 15. Traditionally, the contest at the NAILE serves as the national championship for senior college livestock judging teams. 

“The team had a really strong year with a nice finish,” said Coach Curtis Doubet. “There were a lot of team and individual highlights throughout the year, and the team represented UW really well with the contest in Louisville as a solid way to end the year.”

The senior judging team consisted of Jacey Taylor, Montrose, Colo.; McKenna Carnahan, Julesburg, Colo.; Holly Heckendorf, Wellington, Colo.; Kemsley Gallegos, Laramie; Macy Collins, Meeker, Colo.; Kenzie Morris, Yuma, Colo.; Grace Gullatt, Salem, Ala.; Justin Doubet, Parker, Colo.; Cooper Carlson, Atwood, Colo.; and Zach Davis, Sebastopal, Calif. The team is coached by Curtis Doubet and Assistant Coach Shanan Davey. 

Livestock evaluation highlights

                  The team started their year of judging with a contest at the Cattlemen’s Congress in January. There, the team was ranked sixth overall. Heckendorf placed sixth in cattle and 20th overall, and Carnahan placed 17th overall. 

                  At the Patriot Contest in Abeline, Texas, the UW team placed fourth overall, with top five finishes in sheep and goats, hogs, reasons and cattle. Carnahan was ninth in cattle and 16th overall. 

                  During the same weekend, the judging team traveled to contests at both the Iowa Beef Expo and the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic.

 In Iowa, the team placed third overall, second in placings and fifth in reasons. Collins placed 12th overall, Carlson was recognized for finishing ninth in placings and 16th overall and Carnahan placed 11th in reasons. 

                  At the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic, the team placed fifth overall. Justin Doubet was 12th overall and 13th in reasons, and Carnahan placed eighth in reasons. 

                  The contest at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in Texas treated the Cowboys well. The team was third in goats and sheep, fifth in hogs and reasons, fifth overall and sixth in cattle. On an individual scale, Collins placed fifth overall, third in cattle and 10th in reasons; Heckendorf placed ninth overall and was the high individual in goats; Justin Doubet placed ninth in reasons and 11th overall; and Carnahan placed eighth in hogs. 

                  The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – the last contest of the spring – was held in March. The UW Livestock Judging Team placed sixth overall, third in sheep and goats, fifth in cattle and reasons and 10th in hogs. Individual highlights include Justin Doubet placing fifth in sheep and goats and Heckendorf placing seventh in cattle. 

                  At the first contest this fall, the Cowboy Livestock Judging Team placed third overall at the Aksarben Stock Show in Grand Island, Neb. The team placed first in sheep, second in cattle and third in goats. Gallegos was the high individual in the contest, third in reasons and fourth high in goats. Heckendorf was sixth high individual, and Justin Doubet was eighth high individual overall. 

                  The American Royal in Kansas City, Kan. boasted another set of top 10 finishes for UW. The team was seventh overall, fourth in cattle, seventh in sheep and goats and eighth in reasons and hogs. Justin Doubet was seventh in cattle and Carlson placed ninth in hogs. 

                  The last contest for the 101st livestock judging team at UW was the NAILE. In Louisville, the team placed sixth overall – the highest finish in the history of livestock judging at the university. The UW livestock evaluators also finished fourth high in sheep and goats, sixth in cattle and reasons and eighth in swine. On an individual level, Heckendorf placed 10th in cattle and Gallegos placed ninth in hogs. Additionally, both Heckendorf and Carnahan were recognized as members of the 2021 All-American Team. 

UW All-Americans

                  The All-American Award goes to well-rounded individuals who have made a personal commitment to livestock judging and excelling in the agricultural industry, Coach Curtis Doubet explained. 

                  “To be recognized as an All-American its a culmination of performance in key areas, including community activities, university activities, industry involvement, livestock evaluation and grade point average,” he shared. 

Students are ranked by a judging panel consisting of current or former academic administrators, retired livestock judging team coaches and industry leaders following a nomination from current judging team coaches and animal science departments. The average grade point average for this year’s All-American Team was an impressive 3.93 on a 4.0 scale. 

Curtis Doubet coached Heckendorf and Carnahan in junior college at Northwestern Junior College in Sterling, Colo., before moving to UW and shared the girls made the goal during their freshman year to be All-American. 

“They set the goal early on to be high-achieving, and it has been very cool to watch them grow and progress through the last four years to meet that goal,” he said. “The All-American Program is a big deal. It is important for a judging program to not only have success evaluating livestock, but also turning out great people. I am proud of those girls to receive that honor.”

                  Averi Hales is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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