Ozarks Freshman takes second place in National Competition

Release Date: 1/22/2008

Clarksville, Ark. -- University of the Ozarks freshman Samantha Mosley's love of horses and public speaking has proved to be a winning combination.

Mosley, who was home-schooled by her family on their farm near Subiaco, placed second in the public speaking category at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup, held in Louisville, KY, in November. Mosley advanced to the 4-H national competition after winning the state competition last summer.

Mosley believed her topic, which was horse slaughtering, was a big reason for the high finish in both state and national competition. She spent numerous hours researching the controversial topic, closely examining both the pros and cons of the practice.

Ozarks Freshman Samantha Mosley

“I really wanted to look at the topic from all sides and take a more neutral stance,” Mosley said. “For instance, I pointed out that a lot of horses are shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughtering and that those countries do not have the rules and regulations in place that our country has. I wanted to make the point that if it was going to be done, it should be done here.

“My goal was to give all sides of the issue, talk about the legislation that is in the works, and let people come up with an educated opinion about what should be done. I think it impressed the judges that the topic I took on was so controversial and that it was current and pertinent to the industry.”

During the national competition, Mosley overcame a few glitches, such as her mom running out of video tape during her speech and a last-minute scramble around Louisville in search of the mandatory black pants. She even had to rewrite her speech the night before the competition when she found new information in the ever-changing horse slaughter practice.

“I wanted the speech to be as current as possible, so I was up most of the night memorizing my new speech,” she said. “On top of that, I wasn’t feeling so well. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do. I thought maybe I would finish in the top 10. When I got second I was pretty shocked.”

Her family owns the country’s largest commercial rabbitry business, so Mosley is comfortable around and knowledgeable of animals. She got her first horse when she was 13 and currently has three horses, which she rides at every opportunity. She traveled extensively with her family business while growing up. She credits her active involvement in her church and in 4-H for her public speaking skills.

 “It seems like I’ve been up in front of the church reading scriptures for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I’ve always felt comfortable around people and talking to people. A lot of that is just being around my family business and meeting people all the time. I’ve been to California more than 40 times and have been to 38 different states.”

Her success on the national level has given Mosley a newfound confidence in public speaking, but she said that isn’t the best thing to come out of the competition.

“Just being around other horse people who have a love and passion for horses was a wonderful experience,” she said. “I think it opened my eyes to all the possibilities and opportunities out there to combine a career with a love of horses.”

Mosley, who took a freshman oral communication class at Ozarks in the fall, didn’t even tell her professor that she had placed second in a national public speaking competition.

“I wasn’t sure if I should say anything about it, and there wasn’t a reason for it to come up,” she said. “But I did end up making an A in the class.”

Mosley said she is undecided on a major at Ozarks and is leaning toward marketing, business and communications. But that could change as she continues to take classes at Ozarks.

“I feel like I’m in kindergarten sometimes because it’s so exciting just to get up and go to different classes,” she said. “It seems like every new class I take is my new favorite. Being home schooled, it’s a lot different here, but I like the small classes at Ozarks. This is the perfect fit for me.”