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Youth test their equine knowledge and skills in state contest

A horse in the distance behind grass

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’s 4-H educational programs enhance members’ knowledge of horse health, breed characteristics, management, and feeding. That knowledge and skills were tested during the State Horse Bowl Contest April 23 and 24 on the University of Illinois Urbana campus.

Horse Bowl functions much like a scholastic bowl in a school setting, with an emphasis on equine knowledge with youth competing both individually and on teams. Horse ownership is not a pre-requisite in the either the educational programs or contests.  

Top finishers in the Junior Division include:

  • Anna Hessell, Rock Island County, 1st
  • Avery Stegall, Knox County, 2nd
  • Emma Steiger, Rock Island County, 3rd
  • Emily Conlee, Knox County, 4th
  • Palak Rawani, Rock Island County, 5th
  • Annsley Healy, Franklin County, 6th
  • Rylan Holman, Knox County, 7th
  • Nicholas Gorbach, Rock Island County, 8th
  • Shaylen Rowland, Franklin County, 9th
  • Julian Henry, Knox County, 10th

Top finishers in the Senior Division include:

  • Eliza Engelhardt, Marion County, 1st
  • Desiree Reid, Ogle County, 2nd
  • Allison Burrs, Carroll County, 3rd
  • Abbey Schmidt, Carroll County, 4th
  • Natalie Johnson, Ogle County, 5th
  • Hannah Niesen, McLean County, 6th
  • Talisa Thomas, Carroll County, 7th
  • Grant Johnson, Ogle County, 8th
  • Chesney Clark, Marion County, 9th
  • Hannah Wenzel, Marion County, 10th

In Junior Teams Division, the Rock Island County team took 1st; Knox County, 2nd; Franklin County, 3rd; and McLean County, 4th.

In Senior Teams Division, the Carroll County team took 1st; Marion County, 2nd; Ogle County, 3rd; and McLean County, 4th.

This year’s event also Hippology 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,