University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Vermont 4-H'ers Compete at National Horse Event

4-H horse team members
The Vermont delegation to the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 2-4, sport their team jackets as they show off their ribbons and plaques after the awards banquet. They include: Sitting (left to right): Morgan Quimby, Underhill; Jessie Bachmann, Ira; Julia Dockum, Fair Haven; Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester, Hillary Fay, Westford. Standing (left to right): Summer Colley, Colchester; Mariah Palmer, Hartland; Kaila Stewart, Waterford; Courtney Stearns, Brandon; Kyle Scott, Milton; Allison Bachmann, Ira; Kaelyn Jenny, Essex Junction; Emi Schweikert, Underhill; Emily Campbell, Barre; Bethany Demuynck, Underhill; Jen Carp, Colchester. (photo: Mary Fay)

Burlington--For the 16 Vermont 4-H'ers selected to attend the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville, Ky., the Nov. 2-4 event was more than just an opportunity to compete against more than 300 of the top 4-H horse club members from more than two dozen states. It also meant new friendships with teens from across the country and fun field trips to local attractions.

The annual roundup, hosted by the North American International Livestock Exposition, was held at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. Members of the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H delegation, all winners at state-level competitions earlier this year, participated in all six competitions designed to test their equine expertise and communication skills including hippology, horse judging, horse quiz bowl, public speaking and team and individual demonstration.

The Vermont hippology team, competing against 20 other state teams, finished ninth in the stations phase whereby contestants stop at a series of stations or tables to answer questions on horse breeds, nutrition, health and other equine science topics. The team included Hillary Fay, Westford; Mariah Palmer, Hartland; Emi Schweikert, Underhill; Courtney Stearns, Brandon; and coach Kathy Kennett, Panton.

In the judging contests, which consisted of judging both halter and performance classes, the Vermont team came in eighth in conformation. Team members were Emily Campbell, Barre; Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester; Bethany Demuynck, Underhill; and Kaelyn Jenny, Essex Junction. They were coached by Deb Danforth of Castleton.

The quiz bowl team, which was coached by Norma Katz of Springfield, placed twelfth out of 21 teams. Jen Carp, Colchester, was ninth highest individual. Other team members were Allison Bachmann, Ira; Summer Colley, Colchester; and Kaila Stewart, Waterford.

Four Vermonters competed in the horse communications contests. In public speaking Morgan Quimby of Underhill finished eighth out of 21 participants with her talk, "A Helping Hoof." Jessie Bachmann, Ira, and Julia Dockum, Fair Haven, placed eighth out of 15 teams in team demonstration with a presentation called "Stop, Drop and Foal." The other member of the communications team was Kyle Scott of Milton, who did an individual demonstration on equine identification entitled "Who Are You?"

Coaches for this team were Kristin Quimby, Underhill (public speaking); Tina Bachmann, Ira (team demonstration); and Andrea Scott, Milton (individual demonstration). Mary Fay of Westford, Vermont 4-H Horse Program Middle Manager, and Cathy Leathersich of Underhill accompanied the group along with all the coaches.

While in Kentucky, the Vermont delegation visited Churchill Downs in Louisville, home to the Kentucky Derby, and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. At the latter, in addition to viewing the exhibits, the 4-H'ers had the option of either taking a trail ride around the park or watching the National Horse Show.

The trip was funded in part by the State 4-H Horse Council. Several county 4-H foundations and local sponsors also provided scholarships for participants from their county.

To learn more about 4-H horse activities, contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at (800) 571-0668, ext. 2, or e-mail