University of Vermont

Vermont 4-H'ers Place Well in Regional Horse Contest

Members of the Vermont Hippology A Team are all smiles after their first-place finish in the multi-phase hippology competition, Oct. 13 at the Northeast Regional 4-H Horse Contest. Team members were (left to right): Chelsea Carcoba, Danville; Katherine Stone, St. Johnsbury; Allison Tourville, Georgia; and Faith Ploof, Westford. (photo: Amanda Turgeon)

Burlington--4-H'ers from seven states, including Vermont, were invited to take part in the Northeast Regional 4-H Horse Contest, Oct. 13 in New Hampshire.

Pembroke Academy, Pembroke, and Chinquapin Farm, Pittsfield, (horse judging) served as the venues for the annual event, which helps prepare 4-H'ers to compete at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville, Kentucky, in November. The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H delegation included 28 youths who participated in communications, quiz bowl, judging and hippology. For the latter three contests, Vermont sent two four-member teams.

Vermont earned the Communications Team Award thanks to a first-place finish in both individual and team presentations. In her presentation, "Totally Ticked Off," Elyza Bird, Benson, described tick-borne equine diseases and how to treat and prevent these diseases in horses. Ella Haire, Hinesburg, and Samantha Blackmore, Charlotte, teamed up to give a presentation, "Freeze," about police horses, based on a research trip to New York City to tour the police horse stables.

Olivia Suker, the fourth member of the Communications Team, entered the public speaking competition. Her speech "For the Love of Horses" was about the Lipizzan horse and how the breed was saved. The Shrewsbury 4-H'er placed fourth overall.

In the competitions where Vermont had two teams, 4-H'ers selected to compete at Roundup made up the A teams. The B teams included individuals who consistently performed well at state horse events this year but who did not make the state teams.

In quiz bowl, the Vermont A Team came in first and the Vermont B Team placed fourth. All four members of the A Team ranked in the top 10 for high individual scorers. They were Madison Zimmermann, Northfield (first); Eva Joly, Essex Junction (second); Grace Parks, Essex (third); and Emma Cushman, Barre (eighth). Norma Katz, Springfield, coached the team.

Competing on the Vermont B Team were Madison Bentley, Richmond; Alexia Diaz, Rutland; Gennett Kerstetter, West Rutland; and Lillie Tuckerman, South Woodstock. They were coached by Tina Tuckerman, South Woodstock

In horse judging, the Vermont A Team captured third place overall with a second-place finish in classes and third in oral reasons. Addie Boutin, Essex Junction, came in third for high individual scores, second in classes and sixth in oral reasons. Emma Suker, Shrewsbury, was fourth-high individual and first in classes. The team also included Makayla LaFlam, Vernon, and Rylie Zager, Gill, Massachusetts (member of a Windham County club).

The Vermont B Team, came in fourth overall in judging, classes and oral reasons. Jasmine Mooney, St. Johnsbury, took fifth in oral reasons. Emma Zimmermann, Northfield, placed seventh overall and in oral reasons. Other team members were Wisteria Franklin, Lyndon Center, and Garrette Shanks, Vernon. Both judging teams were coached by Deb Danforth, Castleton.

In hippology the competitors were tested on their equine knowledge through team problem solving, identification stations, judging and a written exam. The A Team placed first and the B Team, sixth overall.

The A Team came in first in problem solving and second in the written exam, stations and judging. Team member Chelsea Carcoba, Danville, was high overall individual scorer, also placing first in the written exam and stations and third in judging. Faith Ploof, Westford, was sixth in stations. In judging Allison Tourville, Georgia, placed sixth and Katharine Stone, St. Johnsbury, ninth. Their coach was Mary Fay, Westford.

The B Team, coached by Melanie Harrison, Addison, earned a third in both team problem solving and judging, fourth in the written exam and sixth in stations. Catera Doner, New Haven, was sixth high overall and fifth in judging. Olivia Campbell, Randolph, was seventh in judging. Other team members were Serena Welch, Shoreham, and Tanya Wheeler, Wilmington.

For information about the Vermont 4-H horse program, contact UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator Wendy Sorrell at