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Horse Hippology Contest Sees Record Turnout

Competitors in the 8 to 9-year-old age group at the State 4-H Horse Hippology Contest, held April 6 in New Haven and Vergennes, Vermont, pose with their rosette ribbons. Front row (from left): Emma Cushman, Barre; McKenna White, Whiting; Chloe Barewicz, Jericho; Bella Joly, Essex Junction; Carly Jenkins, Jericho. Back row (from left): Lauren Bentley, Richmond; Connor Lang; Essex; Brittany Webber, West Burke; Katie Heath, Bristol; Makayla Swan, Middlebury. (photo credit: Amanda Turgeon)

New Haven--A record number of 4-H'ers turned out for the State 4-H Horse Hippology Contest held on April 6 at two locations in Addison County.

A total of 93 competitors from clubs in nine Vermont counties competed at the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H event held at Wishful Thinking Farm, New Haven (horse judging) and Vergennes High School, Vergennes (written tests, slides and identification stations). The 4-H'ers were evaluated on how well they judged and placed horses in two classes as well as their overall knowledge of breeds, feeds and forages, tack, animal nutrition, anatomy, confirmation, horse care and other equine science topics.

Scores for each event at the competition were combined for an overall score. Rosette ribbons were presented to the top ten finishers in each age group.

The senior division for youths ages 14 and older attracted 42 competitors who vied for one of the four coveted spots on the state horse hippology team that will compete at the New England Regional 4-H Horse Contests in Massachusetts in October and the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-up in Kentucky in November. Seniors earning the highest overall scores, in order of placement, included Allison Bachmann, Ira; Alexis Walker and Kaelyn Jenny, both from Essex Junction, and Emily Campbell, Montpelier.

Other seniors who finished in the top 10 for this age group were Emma Pearson, North Hero; Meaghan Hughes, Jericho; Bethany Demuynck, Underhill; Ashley White, Northfield; Courtney Bronson, Shoreham; and Nicole Webster, Florence.

Katina Boise, Middlebury and Kayla Welch, Shoreham, took first and second, respectively, in the Novice Senior Division, which was open to all teens 14 years old and up who are either new to 4-H or the hippology contest. Competitors in this division were not eligible for the state team.

In the Junior Division, ages 12 and 13, the high scorers, in order of placement, were Lexy Brooks, Whitehall, N.Y.; Hannah Lang, Essex; Catherine Thrasher, Rupert; Kendra Stearns, Brandon; Julia Neeld, Williston; Kathryn Morin, Essex Junction; Claudia Bearman, Essex; Madaline Schmidt, Colchester; Audrey Teague, Jeffersonville; and Olivia Schmidt, Colchester.

Winners of the 10 and 11-year-old age group included Faith Ploof, Essex Junction; Shea Tomlinson, Colchester; Olivia Suker, Shrewsbury; Alexis Marnellos, Lincoln; Madison Bentley, Richmond; Eva Joly, Essex Junction; Hannah Carroll, Colchester; Kimberly Gibson, Bristol; and Sydney Minnerly and Charlotte Willis, both from Lincoln.

Ten 4-H'ers, ages eight and nine, competed in horse hippology this year. Listed from first through last place, they were Emma Cushman, Barre; McKenna White, Whiting; Chloe Barewicz, Jericho; Bella Joly, Essex Junction; Carly Jenkins, Jericho; Lauren Bentley, Richmond; Connor Lang; Essex; Brittany Webber, West Burke; Katie Heath, Bristol and Makayla Swan, Middlebury.

Jessie Bachmann, Ira; Jen Carp, Colchester; and Emi Schweikert, Underhill, assisted with the event. All three 4-H'ers previously represented Vermont at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round Up in the horse hippology contest.

For more information about the 4-H horse program, contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at (802) 656-5418 or wendy.sorrell@uvm.edu.

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