Carriage Towne News
LOUISVILLE, KY - More than 310 of the nation’s most knowledgeable 4-H Horse Program members competed November 3-4, 2012 in the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup, an annual event hosted since 1985 by the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Ky. This year’s contest was represented by teams from 25 states.
Many of the young people, ages 14-19, achieved top honors in one of six contests that test horse knowledge and communication skills: Public Speaking (Individual and Team Presentations), Horse Bowl, Hippology, and Horse Judging. Contestants are awarded individually and as part of a team representing their state. Each of the contests is challenging and being competitive necessitates months of preparation.
The speech and presentation contests require contestants to present factual, relevant information in a way that is entertaining and memorable. Horse Bowl, a quiz bowl style contest in which all the questions pertain to the horse, requires extensive knowledge of horse physiology, nutrition, health, training techniques, and history. Contestants much answer questions quickly and correctly to earn points to beat the opposing team. Both the Hippology and Horse Bowl portions of the contest require extensive horse knowledge - knowledge not often gained until one reaches upper level college coursework in an equine field - and the ability to solve problems and complete hands-on tasks. The Horse Judging contest involves evaluating horse structure and performance and then ranking the classes of horses most like that of the official judges. Contestants must then defend how they ranked the horses by giving oral reasons in front of an official judge.
The New Hampshire 4-H Horse Bowl team consisting of Maggie Kenter of Kingston, Leah Varney of Swanzey, Emily Blain of Pembroke, and Kyle Edmonds of Pepperell, MA, won the Eastern National title, defeating teams from Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, North Carolina (last year’s winner), and Missouri.