NC 4-H’ers and Teams Capture Multiple Championships in Fall Contests

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Sixteen North Carolina 4-H’ers represented the NC 4-H Horse Program at two national educational competitions this fall, capturing a total of five team championship titles, in addition to several high individual awards. The first set of contests was held in October at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. The Congress is the largest single-breed horse show in the world. The first weekend in November, the youth and coaches traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup. Eastern Nationals is held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition. The North Carolina delegation competed in Horsebowl, Hippology, Horse Judging, and Communications events. The Communications contests consisted of Individual Presentations, Team Presentations, and Public Speaking. 

The 2022 NC 4-H Horsebowl team consisted of Wake County 4-H’ers Annie Winter and Madie Noblin, Saona Wilcox from Alamance County, and Sara Richarson from Chatham County. The team was coached by Wake County leader Beth Morgan. The NC girls captured the Quarter Horse Congress title, going through bracket play undefeated. Saona won high individual, Annie placed second and Madie was third. The team also went on to win the Eastern National Horsebowl Team Championship, with Madie placing third overall. Annie was fourth, and Saona seventh. North Carolina has won the Eastern National 4-H Horsebowl contest for the past four years.

2022 Congress Horsebowl Champions
L to R: Saona Wilcox, Sara Richardson, Beth Morgan, Madie Noblin, Annie Winter

2022 Eastern National Horsebowl Team Champions
L to R: Saona Wilcox, Annie Winter, Beth Morgan, Sara Richardson, Madie Noblin

In the Communications contests, NC was represented by Anastasia Smith from Orange County, Olivia Hill from Union County, Victoria Smith from Chatham County, and Cayden Lowe from Currituck County. Anastasia competed in the Public Speaking contest with her speech titled, “The Emotional Sponges.” She described how human emotions affect horses. She shared research on this topic and some personal stories of how emotions have impacted the horses she has ridden and shown. Anastasia’s coach was Orange County 4-H Agent Jonathan Smith. At both the Quarter Horse Congress and Eastern Nationals, Anastasia placed fourth. Olivia and Victoria paired up to compete in the Team Presentation competition. The title of their presentation was “Sweatin’ for Success in the Saddle.” The girls covered the benefits of riders engaging in a regular exercise program, examples of how physical fitness can improve riding and the horse’s performance, and demonstrated example exercises. Their coach was Union County 4-H leader, Samantha Taylor. Their presentation secured first place at Quarter Horse Congress and second place at Eastern Nationals. Cayden completed the Communications team with her Individual Presentation titled, “Injection Connection.” She shared her research on therapeutic treatments, primarily hock injections, for use in performance horses. She covered the costs, risks, and potential alternatives. Cayden won top honors at both the Quarter Horse Congress and Eastern Nationals. Cayden was coached by her mother and Currituck County Extension Director, Cameron Lowe. At the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup, the NC ladies won reserve champion team honors in the State Communications Team contest.

2022 NC 4-H Communications Team Members at Quarter Horse Congress
L to R: Anastasia Smith, Olivia Hill, Victoria Smith, Cayden Lowe

2022 Eastern National Individual Presentation Champion- Cayden Lowe

2022 Eastern Nationals Reserve Champion Team Presentation- Olivia Hill and Victoria Smith

2022 Eastern Nationals Reserve Champion Communications Team
L to R:
Cayden Lowe, Anastasia Smith, Victoria Smith, Olivia Hill

The NC 4-H Hippology team was composed of Chatham County 4-H’ers Samantha Durham and Kyra Worth, Allee Coble from Alamance County, and Lauren Williams from Gaston County. The coaches for the team were Chatham County 4-H leaders Mary Dickerson and Ruth Vorder Bruegge. Hippology has four different phases: exam and identification, stations, judging, and team problems. At the Quarter Horse Congress, the team placed 1st in Exam, 3rd in Stations, 1st in Judging, and 1st Overall. Individually, team members received the following awards:

Samantha Durham- 7th in Exam, 8th in Judging and 9th Overall
Allee Coble- 5th in Exam, 9th in Stations, 1st in Judging, 6th Overall
Kyra Worth- 4th in Exam, 7th in Stations, 5th Overall
Lauren Williams- 8th in Exam, 5th in Stations, 6th in Judging, 7th Overall

2022 Quarter Horse Congress Hippology Team Champions
L to R:
Mary Dickerson, Samantha Durham, Allee Coble, Kyra Worth, Lauren Williams, Ruth Vorder Bruegge

2022 Eastern Nationals High Individual Written Phase Individual- Kyra Worth

2022 Eastern Nationals Hippology Reserve Champion Overall Individual- Allee Coble

2022 Eastern National Hippology Team Champions
L to R:
Kyra Worth, Lauren Williams, Samantha Durham, Allee Coble, Mary Dickerson, Ruth Vorder Bruegge

At the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup, the team had another impressive showing, winning the overall team championship by 172 points. In addition to winning the overall team title, they were 1st in Exams, 1st in Judging, 1st in Stations, and 3rd in Team Problems. Once again, all four team members placed overall in the top ten, in addition to several other honors:

Allee Coble- 7th Written Phase, 3rd Stations, 2nd Overall
Kyra Worth- 1st Written Phase, 7th Stations, 8th Judging, 3rd Overall
Lauren Williams- 3rd Written Phase, 5th Stations, 5th Overall
Samantha Durham- 8th Written Phase, 6th Stations, 2nd Judging, 7th Overall

2022 marks the fifth consecutive year North Carolina has claimed the champion Hippology team title.

The North Carolina 4-H Horse Judging team consisted of Nash County 4-H’ers Hannah Mennig and Bryleigh Colbert, and Cumberland County 4-H’ers Olivia Juergens and Stevie Sharum. Chatham County 4-H leaders Mary Dickerson and Ruth Vorder Bruegge coached the team. Horse Judging competitions award the top ten placings for halter judging, performance judging, oral reasons, and overall. At the Quarter Horse Congress, the team placed 3rd in Halter, 2nd in Performance, 4th in Reasons, and 3rd Overall. All four team members placed in the top ten overall:

Steve Sharum-  5th in Performance, 8th Overall
Hannah Menning- 9th in Halter, 10th in Reasons, 10th Overall
Olivia Juergens- 7th in Halter, 8th In Reasons, 9th Overall
Bryleigh Colbert- 3rd in Performance, 6th Overall

In the Eastern National competition, the NC judging team placed second in halter, first in performance, and first in reasons. Their outstanding performance earned them the overall champion team title, helping NC repeat as team champions in this contest. Team member honors included:

Bryleigh Colbert- 3rd in Reasons
Hannah Mennig- 3rd in Halter, 1st in Performance, 1st in Reasons, 1st Overall
Stevie Sharum- 6th in Halter, 3rd in Performance, 2nd in Reasons, 4th Overall
Olivia Juergens- 1st in Halter, 7th in Performance, 6th in Reasons, 3rd Overall

2022 Quarter Horse Congress Third Place Judging Team
L to R:
Mary Dickerson, Stevie Sharum, Hannah Mennig, Olivia Juergens, Bryleigh Colbert, Ruth Vorder Bruegge

2022 Eastern Nationals Horse Judging High Individual Halter- Olivia Juergens

2022 Eastern Nationals Horse Judging High Individual in Performance, Reasons, and Overall – Hannah Mennig

2022 Eastern National Horse Judging Team Champions
Front, L to R: Mary Dickerson and Ruth Vorder Bruegge
Back L to R:
Bryleigh Colbert, Hannah Mennig, Lori Stroud, Stevie Sharum, Olivia Juergens

The NCSU Extension Equine Husbandry staff is extremely grateful for the hard work and effort that all the youth and coaches dedicated to representing the state in these events. A huge thank you to those that sponsored our state contests and events. The North Carolina State 4-H Horse program is also appreciative of the support of the  North Carolina State Animal Science Department, North Carolina 4-H, and North Carolina Cooperative Extension.