State 4-H horse team wins honors at Eastern nationals
CLEMSON — The South Carolina 4-H Horse Program team showed that horse sense is a big part of horsemanship. Representing the state, the team of 10 women won ribbons and trophies in November at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round Up in Louisville.
The Round Up is the final horse-project educational competition for hundreds of 4-H members from around the nation. State winners compete in educational and skills programs. The S.C. team competed in the horse bowl, horse judging and team demonstration contests.
“It is the best we’ve done.” said Kristine Vernon, coordinator of the SC 4-H Horse Program at Clemson University and a faculty member in the animal and veterinary sciences department in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.
The SC 4-H Horse Judging Team was selected Overall Reserve Champion Team. Team members Courtney Barnett of York received fourth-place High Individual Overall and Ashtyn Kinney of Greenwood received sixth-place High Individual Overall.
Judging Belgians, saddlebreds and quarter horses, the team showed off its abilities to evaluate the breeds in halter and performance classes. Performance classes judged were three-gaited English pleasure, Western pleasure, Western horsemanship and hunter under saddle.
The SC 4-H Horse Judging Team included Madison Starnes of Pickens, Ashtyn Kinney, Courtney Barnett and Hannah Byerly of Greenwood. Nichole Veasey, S.C. 4-H Horse Program assistant, and Vernon coached this team.
The SC 4-H Horse Bowl Team faced tough competition and made it to the sixth round of the contest. They were questioned on everything from grasses commonly fed to horses to the origin of the horse. The team placed sixth overall and Shelby Brant of Greenwood received sixth-place High Individual.
The SC 4-H Horse Bowl Team included Ashley McCarter of York, Kitty McCellion of Laurens, Casey Miller of Greenwood and Shelby Brant. Billie Miller, a 4-H Horse Club Volunteer Leader from Greenwood, served as the team’s coach.
The SC 4-H Team Demonstration delegates were Hannah McKinney and Esti Leavelle from Charleston. The team presented its educational demonstration called “Quit your belly aching” and discussed types of colics, causes and preventions.
“The girls did an outstanding job and represented the state well,” Vernon said.
The team received support from the South Carolina Horsemen’s Council and the South Carolina Upstate Equine Council, as well as from Clemson University and the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service.
The South Carolina 4-H Horse Program is creating a positive reputation throughout the nation for developing educated and experienced young men and women who will grow up to support the equine industry in the future.