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Horsin’ around with good reason – and you get graded on it!

Senior Horse Bowl Qualifiers Shantelle Brown, Brooke Thomas, Gabriella Cook and McKenna Swinford prepare for the next round of questions during the Lincoln County Horse Bowl Competition.

4-H Spring Horse Classic Teams Selected
Provided by OSU Extension Service Lincoln County

A horse competition with no horse? But of course! To the youth who qualified to represent Lincoln County at this year’s 4-H Spring Horse Classic (SHC) competition that makes perfect sense. Having just passed an important milestone by successfully competing at the regional qualifying events, these 4-H Horse Program members are now busy studying and preparing for the year’s event to be held April 26-28 in Clackamas County.

A county’s top qualifying senior and intermediate members are eligible to compete at SHC, with senior contestants having the possibility of qualifying for national competition in Kentucky. This year, Lincoln County’s Senior Team includes Shantelle Brown, Gabriella Cook, McKenna Swinford and Brooke Thomas. The Intermediate Teams include Tayleana Borton, Hannah Chesshir, Kaytee Clayton, Gaia Coates, Emily Garbarino, Paige Snyder and Natalie DeWitt. Vanessa Madsen and Ryan Pool also qualified as Intermediates in this year’s qualifying events.

Youths participate as individuals and teams in multiple events which include Horse Bowl, Horse Judging, Hippology, Individual Presentations, Team Presentations, and Public Speaking. The most recent qualifying event was for Horse Bowl, held here in Newport in mid-January. This question and answer game allows 4-H members to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subject matter. Two teams of four to five members each compete to answer questions quickly and accurately.

The Horse Judging contests consists of evaluating and placing horses according to conformation or performance, with oral reasons also given to help improve a member’s speaking ability. That ability is directly tested in the Presentations and Public Speaking portion of SHC. Individuals and teams of two can do a demonstration, telling how to do something typically with an end product, or an illustrated talk using visual aids to explain what is said. In addition, youth can compete in the Public Speaking arena by giving a speech with no visual aids allowed.

The sixth contest category is Hippology, which has six sections: judging, feed identification, hay, examination phase, station phase and the team problem. Almost anything related to horses could be included in a hippology contest.

The Lincoln County team members will gather weekly to continue their intensive study for the Spring Horse Classic event. Excitement is sure to build as they get ready for the competition – and to see many of their 4-H friends from around the state at this unique 4-H horse event.

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