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By Bonnie Jolly
Kentucky is known for its horses so there is no wonder the state 4-H Horse Show has such a large group of youth participating July 5 through 13 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. As a result of their involvement in county, district, state and national events, 4-Hers gain a sense of belonging from the camaraderie with others with similar interests and often share their expertise with their families and others in the community.
Throughout the year, 4-H horse enthusiasts are busy as bees as they prepare for the upcoming show season. In April, 4-Hers and their families attended the District 5 Horse Camp at the Central Kentucky Ag Expo Center in Liberty, where instructors spent two days working with youth and their horses in the different riding divisions known as contest (barrels, poles, flags and stake race); western pleasure (includes horsemanship); walking/racking (gaited events); English/hunter (dressage and jumping) and Minis (miniature horses). The two-day event is topped off with a “Camp Idol” contest on Saturday evening that includes a variety of talented youth.
Using the skills learned at horse camp, 4-Hers and their families headed for the L.D. Brown Ag Expo in Bowling Green over Memorial Day weekend to compete at the District 5 Qualifying 4-H horse show. The two-day event involved approximately 90 youth representing more than 300 individual entries, in a variety of classes all seeking that blue or red ribbon to qualify for the state show in July.
More recently members from the Trailblazers 4-H Horse Clubs attended the State 4-H Horse Contests in Lexington. Youth exhibited their mastery of horse knowledge and skills by participating in horse judging, horse bowl and hippology events. Congratulations are in order for all those who participated: Sarah Cleaver, Ashley Ray, Breanna Tucker, Orry and Briann Williams, Whitney Stanton, Rebecca Beauchamp, Sami Leroux, Katie Estes, Dakota and Rachel Nichols, Chanelle DauPino, Ashlyn Barger and Jenna Meredith.
To top off this year’s event, Hardin County had the fourth place High Overall Junior Hippoloy Team and second place High Overall Senior Hippology Team.
A special thank you goes out to their leaders and coaches Holly Leroux and Stephanie Meredith for hippology, horse bowl and judging and to Amanda Davis for sharing her horse judging skills along with the Camero family for use of their facility and horses.
If you would like more information on the Hardin County 4-H Program, call the Hardin County Extension Office at (270) 765-4121.