University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

4-H & Youth

4-H Equestrians Compete at Eastern States Expo

Thirteen Vermont 4-H'ers competed in various equestrian events, Sept. 21-24 at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. They were: Front row (from left): Chelsea Carcoba, Danville; Hailee Blades, Jeffersonville. Middle row: Faith Ploof, Essex; Eva Joly, Essex Junction; Alex Taylor, South Royalton; Lauren Hodsden, Bridport; Madison Bentley, Richmond. Back row: Samantha Turgeon, St. Johnsbury; Kassidy Wyman, Cambridgeport; Hannah Lang, Essex; Betsy Coburn, Castleton; Callon Fish, Rutland; and Courtney Bronson, Shoreham. (photo: Amanda Turgeon)

Burlington--Eleven 4-H equestrians and two 4-H teen leaders recently returned from West Springfield, Massachusetts, where they represented University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H in various equine events at Eastern States Exposition. The 4-H horse events took place Sept. 21-24.

The Vermont horse judging team, consisting of three 4-H delegates and a 4-H teen leader, finished second in the judging contest. All four team members placed in the top 10 in their respective divisions for overall high scores. In the 4-H Division, Callon Fish, Rutland, was second; Kassidy Wyman, Cambridgeport, seventh; and Courtney Bronson, Shoreham, tenth. Alex Taylor, South Royalton, came in first in the Teen Leader Division.

In the general knowledge contest, Vermonters also did well. Chelsea Carcoba, Danville, was second, Hailee Blades, Jeffersonville, fifth; Lauren Hodsden, Bridport, sixth; and Faith Ploof, Essex, ninth.

Two fitting and showmanship competitions were held for English riders to accommodate the large number of exhibitors. In the first group, Callon Fish, Rutland, was second; Chelsea Carcoba, Danville, came in sixth; and Faith Ploof, Essex, finished tenth. In the second group, Kassidy Wyman, Cambridgeport, placed first, Betsy Coburn, Castleton, took fourth; and Eva Joly, Essex Junction, was fifth.

Top 10 winners in Western fitting and showmanship included Courtney Bronson, Shoreham, first; Samantha Turgeon, St. Johnsbury, seventh; and Lauren Hodsden, Bridport, tenth. Hannah Lang, Essex, captured first place in the driving and in-hand fitting and showmanship competition.

Individuals earning a first-place ribbon in the various performance classes were Courtney Bronson (Western pleasure), Callon Fish (English equitation); Hannah Lang (in-hand command; in-hand suitability); Lauren Hodsden (Western handiness, Western trail); Kassidy Wyman (command, English pleasure).

In addition, Courtney Bronson was named the Showmanship Champion and Hannah Lang was the Reserve Showmanship Champion and the In-hand Division Champion. Callon Fish was the Reserve Equitation Champion.

In the Team Challenge four-member teams earned points for scores in quiz bowl, general knowledge, judging and performance classes. No more than two 4-H'ers from any state were permitted on each team. Vermonters on the top four teams included Callon Fish (first-place team), Chelsea Carcoba and Betsy Coburn (second-place team) and Eva Joly and Faith Ploof (fourth-place team).

The teen leaders also had an opportunity to compete in various contests against teen leaders from the other New England states. Madison Bentley, Richmond, placed eighth in general knowledge, fourth in judging and ninth in fitting and showmanship. She also won the Sportsmanship Award for Vermont. Alex Taylor, South Royalton, was ninth in general knowledge, first in judging and third in fitting and showmanship.

Accompanying the 4-H delegation were Mary Fay, Westford; Jay Fish, Rutland; Jolene Fontaine, Jericho (barn manager); Heather Hodsden, Bridport; Elizabeth Ploof, Essex; and Lisa Russin, Underhill.

For more information about the Vermont 4-H Horse Program, contact Wendy Sorrell at