Thursday, July 14, 2005

Northeast District 4-H Horse Show draws families together at Fairgrounds

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

With the help of parents, dozens of community volunteers and the Marshall County/MSU Extension Service, area youngsters of all ages got a chance to compete in the District 4-H Horse Show last week. It was hosted by the Marshall County Fairgrounds Association at the Fairgrounds.

Both riding and non-riding events were on tap for youngsters to hone their skills in Horse Public Speaking and Team Demonstration, Hippology, Horse Judging, goat tying, calf roping, team roping, walking/riding, showmanship, barrel racing and many other categories of equestrian arts.

For Sara Allison, a home-schooled sophomore, 4-H means friendship and socialization and companionship.

“Horses are just as much friends as anything,” she said.

She showed a purebred Arabian gelding.

Nicki Smith, a sixth grade student from Byhalia, enjoys 4-H because it provides activities that are fun without having too many meetings to go to.

“I like the competition which is good,” she said.

She has been riding since age 5 and showing for six years. Her father Jerry came along to help her groom her pony mare “Pepper.”

Ten-year-old Maggie Thompson, from Oktibbeha County, rides and shows a horse named “Charlie.”

She has been riding “for as long as I can remember,” she said.

Thompson both shows horses and judges. She won High Individual — first place out of 48 entries — for Juniors judging at the District competition.

4-H’ers from 19 counties participated in the competitions, according to Janet Jolley, with the Marshall County Extension office. Out of 179 students who applied for the competitions, about 150 4-H’ers and their families attended. Eighty-two classes drew 771 entries.

Fifteen teams participated in the Horse Bowl; seven students entered the public speaking event; three teams participated in the Team Demonstration; 10 teams competed in Horse Judging; 30 individuals competed in Hippology; 11 students entered the stall decoration contest and 289 horses were shown, Jolley said.


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