Horse-savvy 4-H’ers from throughout the state competed June 18 for a chance to represent Vermont in national competition as members of the 4-H Horse Communications Team.
The annual State 4-H Horse Communications Contest took place at the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension State 4-H Office on the UVM campus in Burlington. The top winner in each of three competitions-Public Speaking, Individual Demonstration and Team Demonstration — earned a place on the team that will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, in November to compete at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round Up.
The team will consist of Jen Carp, Colchester (public speaking), Bethany Demuynck, Underhill (individual demonstration) and Kyle Scott, Milton and Katelyn Patenaude, Derby Line (team demonstration).
Each of the 4-H’ers competing in the public speaking contest gave a seven- to 10-minute speech about an equine-related topic without the use of any props. Carp’s talk, ‘The Thrill of the Chase,’ focused on fox hunting including its history and hunt attire and etiquette. Finishing second was Brooke Mobbs, Colchester, with a talk, ‘Keep an Open Mind,’ about how a horse learns and how to apply that to training.
For the individual demonstrations, each nine to 12 minutes long, the presenters were allowed to use charts, posters and props. Team demonstrations followed the same rules but had to be 10 to 15 minutes in length.
First-place winner Demuynck did a demonstration called ‘Hay, Good Lookin” that covered everything about hay from field preparation to cutting, baling and storing and its nutritional value as horse feed.
Madeleine Desrochers, St. Johnsbury, came in second with ‘Equine Massage,’ a demonstration on how massage helps a horse and the different types of massages and their individual benefits. ‘An Incredible Journey,’ Scott and Patenaude’s winning team demonstration, featured a life-size horse’s digestive system and information on the parts of the system and potential problems such as ulcers and colic.
State teams for hippology, judging and quiz bowl, selected at statewide horse contests earlier this year, also will be part of the Kentucky-bound delegation.
Members of these teams include: HIPPOLOGY TEAM: Allison Bachmann, Ira; Emily Campbell, Montpelier; Kaelyn Jenny, Essex Junction and Emma Pearson, North Hero. JUDGING TEAM: Summer Colley, Colchester; David Gringeri, West Haven; Alexis Walker, Essex Junction and Holly Weglarz, Hartland.
QUIZ BOWL TEAM: Jennifer Dickinson, Colchester; Mariah Harding, Barre; Ruth Snow, Burlington and Madison Wood, Concord.
Trip coordinator for Eastern National 4-H Horse Round Up is Mary Fay, leader of the Whispering Pines 4-H Club of Jericho and a long-time 4-H horse program volunteer.