Burlington - Vermont 4-H'ers didn't horse around when it came to national competition last month in Kentucky. Several Vermont 4-H club members, all winners at state level competitions earlier this year, won awards at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup.
The Vermonters were among the 332 4-H horse program members from 25 states vying for top honors at the 25th annual roundup, Nov. 5-7, at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. The event, hosted by the North American International Livestock Exposition, included six competitions designed to test knowledge of everything equine, as well as evaluate communication skills. Four-H'ers competed both on the individual level and as part of a team representing their state in hippology, horse judging, horse quiz bowl, public speaking, individual presentation, and team demonstration.
The Vermont Hippology Team placed sixth overall out of 23 teams, coming in sixth in problem solving, eighth in the written exam, and tenth in judging. The team also placed second in stations, the phase of the competition in which contestants stop at a series of stations or tables to answer questions on horse breeds, nutrition, health, and other equine science topics.
In individual judging, Chantel Charlebois, Jericho, tied for second high individual, coming in just one point behind the first-place winner. Team member Alexandra Glover, Newfane, earned a fourth-place finish in the stations phase and was ninth high individual. Caitlin Ackerman and Kyla Ward, both from Jericho, also competed as members of the Vermont Hippology Team, which was coached by Kathy Kennett of Panton.
In the horse judging competition, the state judging team placed tenth in the performance classes team judging contest. Members of the team included Jen Carp, Colchester; Julia Dockum, Fair Haven; Cara Turnbull, Essex Junction; and Mary Williams, Burlington. Deb Danforth of Castleton was their coach.
The Horse Quiz Bowl Team, consisting of Brittany Alvarez, Rutland; Jessie Bachmann, Ira; Hillary Fay, Westford; and Katelyn Phillips, Fair Haven, placed sixth overall. Norma Katz of Springfield coached the team.
Anna Corso, Danville, and Kendall Edmondson, St. Johnsbury, came in third for their presentation on Road Rage in the team demonstration contest. They were coached by Judy Corso of Danville. The other member of the Communications Team was Amy Blazej of Windham, who participated in public speaking. She was coached by Allison Trowbridge, also from Windham.
While in Kentucky, the delegates visited the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, in Louisville. They were accompanied on the trip by their coaches and Mary Fay, 4-H Horse Middle Manager.
To learn more about 4-H horse activities, contact Wendy Sorrell, University of Vermont Extension 4-H livestock educator, at (800) 571-0668 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.