Clinton County 4-H Horse Bowl and Hippology Contest held

CHAZY Almost every room at the Miner Center at the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute was full of Clinton County 4-Hers Jan. 12. It was the new site of the annual Clinton County 4-H Horse Bowl and Hippology Contest which has been held at the Peru Community Church for many years. With 25 experienced teen and adult volunteers lending their time and expertise, the event ran smoothly. Ninety-four 4-Hers from 11 area clubs participated in the event that encourages 4-Hers to become equine experts. The 11 clubs were Tangled Reins, Champlain; Bits and Boots, Mooers; Northern Trail Riders and Chattering Chipmunks, both from Plattsburgh; Mystery Riders and Hoof Beats, both from West Chazy, and Tricky Trotters, Bits and Bridles, The Farm-Alls, Trail Blazers and Happy Hustlers, all from Saranac. The event began with welcoming remarks from Alexa King, Clinton County Cornell Cooperative Extension youth development educator. The youth were divided up into four groups Cloverbuds, ages 5-8; Novices, those in their first year of a horse project regardless of age; Junior, ages 9-13; and Senior, ages 14-19. The Horse Bowl portion of the event was a competitive quiz game, with the exception of the Cloverbuds, whose game was not competitive, but cooperative. In the older groups, teams of four raced to be the first to press their electronic button and earn the right to answer the question presented by the moderator and score team and individual points. The questions covered every area of equine knowledge. The competition was a round robin format with 18 questions in each round for the novices, 30 for the juniors and 32 for the seniors. The difficulty of the questions increased with each level. The novices started out with questions like, "What was the name of the first registered Thoroughbred?"and "How many beats are in a rack?" Many of the questions in the junior and senior competitions contained words most would have no idea how to pronounce, never mind comprehend. In the junior and senior level competitions, each room had a moderator who presented the questions, two official timers, two official score keepers and a judge. The competition is taken very serious at these levels where the top five individuals advance to Regionals and possibly States and Nationals. The Hippology Contest offered another format for novice to senior 4-Hers to advance and exhibit their horse knowledge. The contest always has four hands-on stations where 4-Hers are tested individually on their knowledge of feed and feeding, horse identification, anatomy and conformation, tack and equipment, and parasites and diseases. The testing is done orally by a volunteer equine expert. New this year was the addition of a written exam. "The purpose of this addition is to better prepare the 4-Hers who will be advancing to the state competition," Alexa explained. The state competition always has a written component. Like the Horse Bowl competition, Hippology also advances all the way to Nationals. For the Cloverbud members, the Hippology section was a fun hands-on learning experience where they could look, touch and listen to experts explain about the items at each station. The event did not conclude until shortly after 4 p.m., when all scores were carefully tabulated and awards were handed out by Alexa. The top finishers will be studying hard in the coming weeks to prepare for the next level of competition which will be the regional competition held in Westport sometime in March. The state competition is held in Ithaca every May, and the national event is held in Kentucky. The top four placing teams and individuals for the Horse Bowl were: Junior Teams 1st, Happy Hustlers/Hoof Beats; 2nd, Tricky Trotters; 3rd, Bits and Boots; and 4th, Trail Blazers/Tricky Trotters/Farm-Alls. Junior Individuals were 1st, Elaine Duquette; 2nd, Kelly LeClair; 3rd, Tamarra Cook; and 4th, Olivia Chiappalone. Senior Teams 1st, Trail Blazers; 2nd, Northern Trail Riders; 3rd, Bits and Bridles/Bits and Boots; 4th, Tangled Reins/Happy Hustlers. Senior Individuals 1st, Karianna Garrand; 2nd, Lauren Heath; 3rd, Corine Giroux; and 4th, Lyssa LaCount. The top four teams and individuals in the Hippology Contest were: Junior Teams 1st, Tricky Trotters/Mystery Riders; 2nd, Tangled Reins/ Hoof Beats; 3rd, Northern Trail Riders/Farm-Alls; and 4th, Bits and Boots. Junior Individuals 1st, Melissa Whyman; 2nd, Elaine Duquette; 3rd, Olivia Chiappalone; and 4th, Tamarra Cook. Senior Teams 1st, Trail Blazers; 2nd, Farm-Alls; 3rd, Northern Trail Riders; and 4th, Happy Hustlers/Bits and Boots. Senior Individuals 1st, Karianna Garrand; 2nd, Erin Sorrell; 3rd, Lauren Heath; and 4th, Lyssa LaCount.

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