Vermont 4-H'ers selected for the State 4-H Horse Judging Team proudly show off the ribbons they won in the State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, May 5, in Jericho. They include, left to right, Kaelyn Jenny, Essex; Bethany Demuynck, Underhill; Emily Campbell, Montpelier; Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester (photo credit: Amanda Wright)
On May 5, 49 Vermont 4-H club members, ages 8 to 18, gathered in Jericho to test their horse judging skills at the State 4-H Horse Judging Contest. The annual competition was co-sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and Chittenden County 4-H and held at Freedom Farm (judging) and Jericho Elementary School (oral reasons).
Competitors judged performance and conformation classes including hunter horses in hand, quarter horse mares, quarter horse geldings, English pleasure, hunter under saddle and quarter horse western pleasure. They also provided written placements for each class, which were scored according to the placings by the official judge. All competitors age 12 and up also gave oral reasons for their placings.
The top four overall senior competitors (ages 14 to 18) will represent Vermont as the state 4-H horse judging team at the Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, Mass., and at Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-up in Louisville, Ky. this fall. They are Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester (first); Bethany Demuynck, Underhill (second); Kaelyn Jenny, Essex (third); and Emily Campbell, Montpelier (fourth). Summer Colley, Colchester, will be the alternate.
The novice senior division was open to anyone 14 years old and up who is new to 4-H or this competition. Participants earned ribbons but were not eligible for a spot on the state team. Overall winners in this division were Anna Corso, Danville (first), Hallie Donegan, Shelburne (second), Katelyn Patenaude, Derby Line (third) and Katie Magnant, Bakersfield (fourth).
In the 12- and 13-year-old junior division, Emma Pearson, North Hero, won top overall honors, followed by Alexis Walker, Essex Junction (second); David Gringeri, West Haven (third) and Arin Kenyon, Chester (fourth). In the 8- to 11-year-olds' contest, Faith Ploof, Essex Junction, took home the blue ribbon, with Hannah Lang, Essex, taking second. Bridget Webber, West Burke, came in third and Emily Boyd, Fairfax, was fourth.
The highest placing individuals in the senior division in the judging portion of this event were Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester; Kaelyn Jenny, Essex; Sarah Garcia, Littleton, N.H.; and Allison Henson, Hinesburg. For oral reasons, the top four seniors were Jennifer Dickinson, Summer Colley, Colchester; Bethany Demuynck, Underhill; and. Bridgette Charlebois, Jericho.
In the novice senior division, Hallie Donegan, Shelburne, placed first in judging and fourth in oral reasons. Anna Corso, Danville, came in second in both judging and oral reasons. Katie Magnant, Bakersfield, took third place in both events while Katelyn Patenaude, Derby Line, was fourth in judging and first in oral reasons.
Top scorers in judging in the 12- and 13-year-old junior division were Arin Kenyon, Chester; David Gringeri, West Haven; Emma Pearson, North Hero; and Alexis Walker, Essex Junction. For oral reasons, Alexis Walker was first followed by Emma Pearson, David Gringeri and Alexis Boyd, Fairfax.
For more information on the State 4-H Horse Judging Contest or the 4-H horse program in general, please contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at (802) 656-5418 or (800) 571-0668, ext. 2 (within Vermont).