University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Vermont 4-H'ers Enjoy Success at National 4-H Horse Roundup

The Vermont delegation to Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville, Nov. 8-10, visited the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington as part of their trip to Kentucky. Delegates included: Bottom row (left to right): Alexis Walker, Essex Junction; Emily Campbell, Montpelier; Emma Pearson, North Hero; Kaelyn Jenny, Essex Junction; Ruth Snow, Shelburne; Jen Carp, Colchester. Top row (left to right): Bethany Demuynck, Underhill; David Gringeri, West Haven; Holly Weglarz, Hartland; Kyle Scott, Milton; Summer Colley, Colchester; Kate Patenaude, Derby Line; Allison Bachmann, Ira; Madison Wood, Concord; Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester; Mariah Harding, Barre. (photo courtesy of UVM Extension 4-H)

Burlington--Sixteen University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H horse club members were among more than 300 4-H teens from throughout the country who, as winners of state competitions, earned the right to compete nationally.

Every Vermont delegate earned at least one ribbon in either team or individual competition at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup, held Nov. 8-10 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. The six contests, designed to test their equine knowledge and evaluate their communications skills, included hippology, horse judging, horse quiz bowl, team demonstrations, public speaking and individual presentations.

The Vermont Hippology Team placed fifth overall out of 21 teams, taking seventh in the written exam, tenth in judging and third in stations. In the latter phase, competitors visit a series of stations or tables to answer questions on horse breeds, nutrition, anatomy and other horse-related topics.

Emily Campbell of Montpelier had a fourth-place finish in individual stations. Teammate Allison Bachmann of Ira took eighth in individual judging and finished ninth overall out of 84 hippology contestants. 

Kaelyn Jenny, Essex Junction, and Emma Pearson, North Hero, also competed on the Vermont Hippology Team, which was coached by Kathy Kennett of Panton.

The Vermont Horse Judging Team, consisting of Summer Colley, Colchester; David Gringeri, West Haven; Alexis Walker, Essex Junction; and Holly Weglarz, Hartland; finished ninth overall out of 23 teams. Their coach was Deb Danforth of Castleton.

Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester; Mariah Harding, Barre; Ruth Snow, Shelburne; and Madison Wood, Concord, all members of the Vermont Horse Quiz Bowl Team, came in seventh overall out of 21 state teams. Norma Katz of Springfield coached the team.

Katelyn Patenaude, Derby Line, and Kyle Scott, Milton, paired up for the team demonstration, coming in seventh out of 19 teams with their presentation, "An Incredible Journey," featuring a life-size horse's digestive system and its parts and potential health problems. Other members of the Vermont Horse Communications Team were Jen Carp, Colchester, who competed in public speaking with a talk on fox hunting, and Bethany Demuynck, Underhill, who did an individual demonstration on hay, including its production and nutritional value as horse feed.

Overall, the state horse communications team finished eighth. Coaches were Cathy Leathersich, Underhill (public speaking), Jennifer Patenaude, Derby Line (team demonstration), and Andrea Scott, Milton (individual demonstration).

The Vermont 4-H'ers also had a chance to visit Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, in Louisville, and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The State 4-H Horse Council helped fund the trip. In addition, several county 4-H foundations and local sponsors also provided scholarships for participants from their county.

Mary Fay of Westford accompanied the state delegation. Fay, a long-time 4-H volunteer and adult leader for the Whispering Pines 4-H club in Jericho, has chaperoned the Vermont group every year since 1976, the first year Vermont participated in this national competition.

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