Four Michigan 4-H teams compete at national horse contests
In just three weeks, four Michigan 4-H teams competed at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and Arabian and Half Arabian Horse Nationals, creating a lifetime of memories!
In March and April of each year, teams of 4-H youth compete in the Michigan 4-H Equine Hippology and Horse Judging competitions. Each contest requires youth to demonstrate different equine evaluation and communication skills. Horse judging involves evaluation of the horse, observing the conformation, muscling and structural correctness, as well as judging performance classes via riding patterns and driving classes. Hippology is a diversified skills contest where youth answer horse care questions ranging from breeding to nutrition, judge two classes of horses, answer a team problem, and identify tools, feeds and other equine-related items. Both contests allow members to grow their knowledge and skills in the equine industry. Teams can earn the opportunity to represent Michigan 4-H at the national level by winning the state contest. At this year’s contest, four Michigan 4-H teams won the opportunity to compete at two recent national events.
The Monroe County 4-H Hippology and Horse Judging teams competed at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in October 2023. Congress is known for having some of the fiercest competition, but the Monroe County teams held their own. They placed within the Top 20 teams for each contest. Coach Elizabeth Kotus said, “Everyone had their personal bests and definitely learned something for the next contest.”
Later in October, Michigan 4-H was also represented in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Show. The St. Clair County 4-H Hippology team, coached by Olivia Prusik, brought home ribbons from the contest with three individuals placing in the top five and the team taking third place.
The Ingham County 4-H Horse Judging team also made their mark at the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Show. Individuals on the team placed in the top 20 contestants, with member Tabitha H. placing as the fifth overall individual. The team also finished in the top 10, taking seventh overall.
Interested in joining a 4-H horse judging or hippology team? Reach out to your to find the horse and pony project clubs in your area. Already have a 4-H club and interested in participating in these contests? Go to the 4-H Horses & Ponies page for more information about upcoming contests and programs!