4-H Horse Speaking contests help youth gain self-confidence, courage and persuasiveness; share ideas with others; and develop the ability to speak in public to inform others about horse-related subjects and the 4-H Horse project. Divisions:

  • Formal Speech
  • Team Presentation
  • Presentations

All presentation subjects must pertain to the horse industry, or be horse related, and be original and factual.  Presentations cannot involve the use of live animals; however, model animals may be used.  The presentation may be a demonstration or illustrated talk.  All references to the term “presentation” in these rules include either demonstration or illustrated talk.  

  • A demonstration is defined as a presentation of a step by step procedure with an end product or result.  An illustrated talk is defined as a presentation of an idea or topic that uses visual aids to convey the message.  Both presentation forms are acceptable and will be evaluated equally, although the delivery methods are different as defined above.  Both should utilize visual aids to help convey the major points of the presentation and more than one type of visual aid is preferable.  Visual aids may include but are not limited to: handouts, posters, props, videos, slides, and computer generated media (PowerPoint, websites, etc.). No live animals may be used.
  • Contestants may use notes.  However, excessive use of notes may be counted against the contestant.  This will be at the discretion of the judges.
  • Contestants should cite their major references after the conclusion of their presentation.  This will not be counted in the allotted time.
  • If a contestant is using power point, they must bring their own equipment (computer & projector).
  • Individual Presentations should be 9-12 minutes in length.
  • Team Presentations should be 10-15 minutes in length. 
  • A 3-point penalty will be imposed per judge for each minute or fraction of a minute under the minimum or over the maximum time allowed.
  • Props: A podium, at least 1 easel, 2 tables, power strip & extension cord will be available.  Contestant needs to bring any other props or equipment.

The contest will be held April 18 on the U of I campus. Any youth may participate. There is no qualifying county event. Download the forms for each division below. Cost is $5. 


University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign Campus, David Kinley Hall Bldg.


Immediately following Hippology


Open to all 4-H members age 8 to 18. Senior Division: Contestants must be at least 14 years of age but not yet have achieved their 19th birthday on January 1, 2019. Junior Division: Contestants have passed their 8th but not their 14th birthday as of January 1 of the current year.

Program Areas
Event Date(s)