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Youth demonstrate equine knowledge in hippology contest

A horse with a sunset behind it

Urbana, Ill. -- In 4-H, learning about horses means much more than learning to ride. Young people with a passion for horses participated in recent statewide educational contests related to the equine industry. University of Illinois Extension 4-H’s educational programs enhance members’ knowledge of horse health, breed characteristics, management, and feeding. That knowledge and skills were tested during the State 4-H Hippology Contest held April 23 - 24 on the University of Illinois campus.

In Hippology, youth field a wide range of questions, ranging from breed identification, anatomy, tack identification, and feed samples to disease management, parasite identification, and quality assessment. They also are given a timed problem-solving challenge they must solve on the spot in front of a panel of judges. Horse ownership is not a pre-requisite in the either the educational programs or contests. 

Top finishers include:

Senior Division

  • Eliza Engelhardt, Marion County, 1st
  • Talisa Thomas, Whiteside County, 2nd
  • Allison Burrs, Carroll County, 3rd
  • Hannah Wenzel, Saline County, 4th
  • Hannah Niesen, Dewitt County, 5th
  • Lauren Burrs, Carroll County, 6th
  • Michaela Persico, Kendall County, 7th
  • Ellis Rogers, Knox County, 8th
  • Ava Kilburn, McDonough County, 9th
  • Abigail Schmidt, Carroll County, 10th

Intermediate Division

  • Maya Woodard, Monroe County, 1st
  • Sydney Woodard, Monroe County, 2nd
  • Elizabeth Ellis, McLean County, 3rd
  • Grant Alexander, Knox County, 4th
  • Shelby Pribble, Saline County, 5th
  • Stephanie Niesen, Dewitt County, 6th
  • Rachel Morris, Clark County, 7th
  • Emma Quinton, McLean County, 8th
  • Avery Stegall, Knox County, 9th
  • Linnea Thorngren, Carroll County, 10th

Junior Division

  • Claire Quinton, McLean County, 1st
  • Lexi Merriman, Dewitt County, 2nd
  • Hadassah Hobson, Madison County, 3rd
  • Hanna Koch, Tazewell County, 4th
  • Nicolette Caccia, Winnebago County, 5th
  • Lillian Elsea, Dewitt County, 6th
  • Bynlee Callahan, Dewitt County, 7th
  • Caitlan Ritter, McLean County, 8th
  • Reagan Zeigler, Tazewell County, 9th
  • Paige Koch, Monroe County, 10th

Illinois youth competing in the National 4-H Hippology Contest are supported by the Illinois 4-H Foundation and its donors. This year’s event also included Horse Bowl and Horse Speaking state contests.

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension:  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. 

For Further Information, Contact:

SOURCE: Deb Hagstrom, University of Illinois Extension Specialist, Horses

WRITER: Carissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, 4-H State Office,