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State horse competition showcases 4-H members' knowledge and skills

Gold Trophy with golden accents in background

CLINTON, Ill. —  The annual state 4-H Hippology Contest and 4-H Horse Speaking Contest took place on April 13 at the University of Illinois campus. DeWitt County 4-H members participated in both contests, demonstrating their knowledge and skills beyond riding.

Lillian Elsea and Amyla Horn competed in Intermediate Hippology and finished in the top 25. Stephanie Niesen competed in Senior Hippology and finished in fourth place. Hippology is a challenging contest where 4-H members answer a variety of questions about horse health, breed characteristics, management and feeding. Members must also solve a problem in front of a panel of judges. 

Stephanie Niesen also participated in several divisions of the Horse Speaking Contest, including Senior Formal Speech, Senior Extemporaneous, Interpretative Reading, and Senior Individual Presentation. Niesen’s original individual presentation took first place, and she finished in the top five for each of the other divisions.

The Illinois 4-H Horse Speaking Contest encourages the development of self-confidence and public speaking skills. Participants compete in five divisions: formal speech, individual presentation, team presentation, extemporaneous speaking, and interpretative reading. Presentations must be original, factual, and pertain to the horse industry or be horse-related.


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Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.