University of Vermont

Youths Test Their Horse Judging Skills

Nine 12- and 13-year-old 4-H'ers were among the 39 participants at the May 6 State 4-H Horse Judging Contest. They are Front row (left to right): Emeillia Gomo, Chester; Whitney Dunklee, Vernon; Emma Zimmermann, Northfield; Jasmine Mooney, St. Johnsbury; Ella Dubin, Northfield, Massachusetts. Back row: Kaleb Thornton, South Royalton; Wisteria Franklin, Wheelock; Shyanne Wedge, Shoreham; Renee Payton, Danville. (credit: Amanda Turgeon)

Burlington--The State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, sponsored by University of Vermont Extension 4-H, was held May 6. In addition to the 33 4-H participants, six Future Farmers of America members took part.

The competition was split between two locations, Equestrian's Edge, Fairfax (judging) and Westford Elementary School, Westford (oral reasons and awards ceremony). The youths judged five classes of horses, which were stock horse in hand, hunter in hand, Western pleasure, hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation. Up to 10 rosette ribbons were awarded in each age group.

Qualifying for the state 4-H horse judging team were the top four finishers in the senior division (ages 14-18). In order of placement they were Emma Cushman, Barre; Grace Parks, Essex Junction; Makayla LaFlam, Vernon; and Emma Suker, Shrewsbury. Rylie Zager, Gill, Massachusetts, a member of a Windham County 4-H club, finished fifth.

Overall rankings for the other age groups and FFA are as follows:

  • JUNIORS (8 and 9 years old): Kelsey Paradee, Swanton (first); Madeline Langlois, Westford (second); Jakob Marinoff, Highgate (third); Jenny Perkins, Windham (fourth)
  • JUNIORS (10 and 11 years old): Allessandra Hoffman, Milton (first); Chloe Irish, Westford (second); Tieghan Perry, Danville (third); Hannah Smiley, Milton (fourth); Viola Brown, Vernon (fifth); Rose Ouimet, Castleton (sixth); Megan Carson, Windham (seventh); Jenna Bennett, Highgate (eighth); Addisyn Greenwood, Waterford (ninth); Macayla Riendeu, Danville (tenth); Keenan Evans, Danville (eleventh); Caleigh Larrabee, Danville (twelfth); Kiera Newton, Milton (thirteenth); Elizabeth Brown, Vernon (fourteenth)
  • JUNIORS (12 and 13 years old): Ella Dubin, Northfield, Massachusetts (first; member of a Windham County club); Jasmine Mooney, St. Johnsbury (second); Emma Zimmermann, Northfield (third); Whitney Dunklee, Vernon (fourth); Emeillia Gomo, Chester (fifth); Renee Payton, Danville (sixth); Shyanne Wedge, Shoreham (seventh); Wisteria Franklin, Wheelock (eighth); Kaleb Thornton, South Royalton (ninth)
  • NOVICE SENIOR (14 years old and up new to 4-H or this competition): Peter Thornton, South Royalton (first)
  • FFA: Kira Kemp, Cornwall (first); Mahaila Gosselin, Salisbury (second); Cori Kerr, Middlebury (third); Nayda Sato, Cornwall (fourth); Courtney Curler, Bridport (fifth); Heather Cloutier, Addison (sixth)

Teen helpers for the event were Hailee Blades, Jeffersonville; Chelsea Carcoba, Danville; Faith Ploof, Westford, Olivia Suker, Shrewsbury; Lillie Tuckerman, South Woodstock; and Madison Zimmermann, Northfield.

To learn more about upcoming 4-H horse events, contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at