Ag News

Equine champions honored in capitol ceremony

Georgia youth who won state, national or world championships in equine competitions last year were celebrated at the annual Equine Champions Day at the Georgia state capitol on Feb. 8. The Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine hosted the event.

Approximately 60 youth had a group photograph taken with Gov. Nathan Deal, visited the chambers of the Georgia House and Senate, were treated to lunch from The Varsity and heard congratulations from Deal, Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.

Deal focused on themes of responsibility and discipline, suggesting that their preparations for competition have taught equine champions how to be responsible people and that lessons on discipline are invaluable.

“You cannot discipline your horse, get your hose to do what you want it to do, unless you have first disciplined yourself,” Deal said. “Anybody who does not discipline themselves cannot very well direct anyone else. The skill set you’ve acquired is transferrable to virtually any other undertaking in your life.”

Deal encouraged the youth to take in the process of state law being made.

Long emphasized the importance of showing up and being on time.

“I see the importance of keeping you people involved and committed,” Long said. “I can remember back to when I was a teenager and liked to get into things. But if we’re involved in competition, with winning and losing and going places, the friendships you’ll make will be lifetime friendships.”

The Equine Commission presented its annual Golden Saddle Award to Deal, who has spoken to the equine champions each year of his term as governor.

To view pictures from Equine Champions Day visit