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NC State Extension

Horse Presentations

Individual and Team Horse Presentation Contests

The Horse Presentation Contest is designed to encourage youths to teach others how to do something related to horses by the correct use of visuals and equipment and to give youths confidence in their ability to present information in a logical and concise manner. Additionally, the contest will help to increase the participant’s level of horse knowledge, expertise and increase member’s study skills and ability to use correct English while providing 4-H members with an opportunity to work jointly designing and presenting an educational horse-related topic.

Educational Event Donors Needed! If you would like to sponsor the communications contest, please complete this form: NC State Educational Contest Sponsorships


Each participant must be a bona fide 4-H member interested in horses. Members of 4-H are not eligible, however, to participate in a horse presentation or illustrated talk if by the date of the district contest they will have completed a year of training beyond the high school level in a communications course that requires public speaking. Participants do not need their own horses.

The individual and team horse demonstration contests will be divided into three age divisions (9-10, 11-13, 14-18). Each county will be allowed to enter one team and one individual in each age division in district competition during District Activity Days. All members of a Senior team must have reached age 14 but not age 19 before January 1 of the current year. In the 11-13 and 14-18 divisions, the first and second place finishers will both move on to the state finals. In the 9-10 division, only the winner will advance to the state contest. The state contest  will be held during State 4-H Congress. District Activity Day rules will apply towards participation in other activities.

The state winners and runners-up of the Senior Division will be eligible to represent North Carolina in the Southern Regional contest in accordance with the rules of that contest. The state winning Senior Division team will be eligible to represent North Carolina in the national contest in accordance with the rules of that contest. The state is not responsible for paying expenses to these contests but will attempt to help.

Previous state winners representing North Carolina in  national contests (QH Congress and Southern Regionals) are ineligible for further state competition in the same area. A NC State Champion cannot come back and compete in the state contest even if they did not compete at Eastern Nationals.


The team demonstration contest may be combined with the individual demonstration contest and may be held during the State 4-H Horse Show at the discretion of the State Advisory Board. Should the contest be combined, the highest scoring individual and the highest scoring team ranked in the top six places will have the option of representing North Carolina in their respective category at national competition for the year. If they decline, the next highest-ranking team or individual placing in the top six will have the option to attend. Consult the annual Advisory Board Minutes.

Only one individual or team per age division may participate from each county.

Demonstrations or illustrated talks may be on any horse-related subject.

An individual presentation must be a minimum of 4 minutes (Junior Division) or 9 minutes (Senior Division) and not longer than 12 minutes. One point will be deducted per judge for each minute, or fraction thereof, under 4 minutes (Junior) or 9 minutes (Senior) or over 12 minutes. References are not to be included in the time limit.

A team demonstration must be a minimum of 10 minutes for Seniors or 5 minutes for Junior participants. One point will be deducted per judge, for  each minute, or fraction thereof, under 10 minutes (Senior Division) or 5 minutes (Junior Division); or over 15 minutes. References are not to be included in the time limit.

Notes and visuals may be used. However, excessive use of notes may be counted against the participant at the discretion of the judge(s). Visuals should be neat, legible, and large enough to permit ease in reading.

No live animals may be used.

Only the judge(s) may question participants during the contest. Question time will not be counted toward the allotted time period. Participants are encouraged to repeat questions before answering.

Participants should note their major references while in competition.

2018 NC 4-H Horse Program Presentation Scoresheet

MODIFIED SCORESHEET FOR 2020: 2020 NC 4-H Horse Program Presentation Scoresheet

Please thoroughly read the Horse Individual and/or Team Presentation Contest sections in the NC 4-H Horse Program Official Rule book (updated annually) for additional information on contest rules, regulations, etc.