2018 Michigan 4-H Hippology Contest is a success

4-H participants from around Michigan traveled to MSU’s campus to test their equine expertise. Learn more about how they did.

Many volunteers were involved in the event. We thank them for sharing their time and expertise with Michigan 4-H Horse Program.
Many volunteers were involved in the event. We thank them for sharing their time and expertise with Michigan 4-H Horse Program.

Many 4-H members found success on April 7, 2018, at the State 4-H Hippology Skills and Communications Contest, where they were tested on their knowledge of horses and their public speaking and demonstration abilities. Each individual completed all phases of the hippology contest: video horse judging, slide test, written exam, stations and skills. Teams also participated in the team problem portion of the day.

Participants aged 9-13 are considered juniors where 14-19 year olds are seniors. Cloverbuds, 4-H participants 5-8 years of age, were also welcome to compete and were provided with specialized tests throughout their day, based upon their age and readiness to compete.

The day began with the video judging phase, where competitors judged and placed two halter classes based on confirmation and balance and answered five questions about each class. The questions were asked to test their note taking, observation and memorization skills. Following judging was the slide test phase of the day. Seniors were projected 30 slides while juniors were projected 15 slides and were asked to identify breeds, coat colors and patterns, tack, equipment, activities and more.

Once the slide test was completed, competitors moved into the written examination where seniors completed 40 multiple choice and 10 true and false questions. Juniors completed 20 multiple choice and 5 true and false. The written exam portion of the day was self-paced and was not timed.

The final portion of the contest day consisted of three phases: skills, stations and team problem. During the skills portion of the competition, competitors were required to perform five hands-on skills ranging in difficulty based on their division. Skills can include things similar to leg wrapping, evaluating lameness or general care and management.

In addition, competitors completed a set number of stations. Seniors were asked to complete five stations and were given three minutes per station, while juniors were asked to complete three stations and were allotted four minutes per station. Stations could include a variety of activities from identifying feed, identifying internal and external parasites, or identifying gait and other activities.

In addition to the individual portion of the day, teams comprised of three or four members of the same age level and division completed the team problem. Each junior and senior team was given a division-appropriate, hypothetical problem. They were then given 10 minutes to discuss the problem to come up with a solution and an additional five minutes to present their solution to the judges.

Teams were given a grade that was 40 percent based on completeness, 40 percent based on accuracy and 20 percent based on team participation. In addition, senior teams were asked to solve a spontaneous problem. During this period, they were only given five minutes to present their solution to the judges without any time to prepare a solution. Team problem judge Terri Delbridge shared that participants throughout the day impressed her with their poise, professionalism and knowledge.

Many great prizes were given out at the awards program. The Michigan 4-H Horse Program is incredibly thankful for ­­­­­­Tom’s Western Store in Ovid, Michigan, and Crestview Tack Shop in Mason, Michigan, for their very generous sponsorship of our prizes. In each division, the top 10 individuals overall, as well as the top 10 for each portion of competition, were recognized for their achievements. In addition, the cloverbuds were recognized for their participation.

For the team portion of the competition, the top five teams for each division were recognized, however, in the senior regular team division the top three teams qualified to compete at one of the following national competitions: Eastern National 4-H Roundup in Louisville, Kentucky; Western National 4-H Roundup in Denver, Colorado; or the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

The Monroe County team of Niklas Achtabowski, Alicia Bondar and Rachele Cate took first place. In second place was the Calhoun County team of Avery Aden, Chevelle Bowles, Hailey Davis and Missy Lawrence. Finally, in third place was the St. Clair County team of Carrie Brown, Brianna Jamison, Kaitlyn Rhein and Sara Scott.

The official explanation of this year's stations can be found on the Michigan 4-H Horse Program Facebook page. Additionally, complete results of the 2018 contest can be found on our Horse Youth Programs website.

Next year’s 4-H Hippology competition will be held March 23, 2019. 

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