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Statewide Contest Tests 4-H'ers Horse Judging Skills

Winners of the Senior Novice Division at the State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, May 4, in Woodstock pose with their rosette ribbons. From left: Kylee Taylor, Athens; Hannah Hobbs, Brattleboro; Kayla Yurkevicz, Halifax and Emily Todd, West Rutland. (photo credit: Sonja Blanchard)

Woodstock--Horse-savvy 4-H'ers from eight Vermont counties competed in the annual State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, May 4.

The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H event was split between two locations, the Green Mountain Horse Association facility in South Woodstock (judging) and Woodstock High School, Woodstock (oral reasons). For older 4-H'ers, ages 14 and up, the event also served as the qualifier to be named to the Vermont 4-H horse judging team, which will compete at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-up in Louisville, Ky., in November.

The 4-H'ers were divided according to age with a separate division, Senior Novice, for teens 14 to 18 years old who are either new to 4-H or competing for the first time in this contest. All the competitors judged performance and conformation classes of Morgan geldings, stock-type geldings, carriage driving, Western pleasure and English pleasure horses, providing written placements for each class, which were scored according to the placings by the official judge. Seniors (14 and up) and Juniors (12 and up) also were required to give oral reasons for their placings.

The four seniors who received the highest overall scores in the contest were named to the state 4-H horse judging team. They are Rachel Scibek, Colchester; Emma Pearson, North Hero; Catherine Thrasher, Rupert and Katelyn Patenaude, Derby Line. Alternate is Kassidy Wyman, Cambridgeport.

The top five winners in the other age groups, listed in order of placement, were:

  • Juniors (8 to 11 years old): Lily Tuckerman, Barnard; Carly Jenkins, Jericho; Faith Ploof, Essex; Jenna Dolloph, Chester; Lauren Bentley, Richmond
  • Juniors (12 and 13 years old): Olivia Suker, Shrewsbury; Hailee Blades, Jeffersonville; Madison Bentley, Richmond; Bridget Webber, West Burke; Delaney Simmons, Hartland
  • Novice Senior: Kylee Taylor, Athens; Kayla Yurkevicz, Halifax; Hannah Hobbs, Brattleboro; Emily Todd, West Rutland

The 4-H teens assisting with this event were David Gringeri, West Haven; Alexis Walker, Essex Junction and Holly Weglarz, Hartland, all members of the 2013 Vermont 4-H Horse Judging Team.

For more information on the Vermont 4-H horse program, contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at (802) 656-5418 or (800) 571-0668, ext. 2 (within Vermont).

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