CLEMSON — The state 4-H horse team came home with awards in 23 categories from the Southern Regional competition held in Little Rock, Ark. The annual event brings together teams from 13 states to test their knowledge about horses and horse judging, compete in speeches and demonstrations and exhibit their horses.

“The South Carolina 4-H Horse team made our state proud,” said Ashley Hinson, Clemson extension 4-H horse program coordinator. “The competition was tough, but not too tough for our 4-Her's. They worked hard to prepare for both the educational contests and horse show.”

Kristine Vernon, assistant professor in Clemson University’s animal and veterinary science department, helped the S.C. 4-H team prepare. In 2010, Clemson will host the regional event.

There were 23 members on South Carolina’s 4-H horse team, who came from Berkeley, Charleston, Chester, Fairfield, Greenville, Lancaster, Pickens, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties. Team members were selected based on their performance at the state contests held earlier this year.  

The team won eight awards in the Southern Regional Horse Championship Show. The average class size was 34 horses, but some classes included as many as 100 horses. Winners on the state horse show team were:

  • Alana Berryhill from Richburg on Tarheel's Touchdown: ninth place for Non-Trotting Pleasure “Walking Horse”
  • Joseph Crim from Wagener on Vegas: sixth place for Tie-Down Roping
  • Allison Merritt from Simpsonville on Justa Splash of Attitude: 11th place for Dressage
  • Katie Skinner from Ravenel with Blue Suade Norfleet: 11th place for Stock Type Geldings
  • Kayce Stevens from Simpsonville on Heza Radical Ryder: seventh place for Hunt Seat Equitation, seventh place for Western Showmanship, 10th place for Western Horsemanship and 12th place for Trail Class

Two members were called back to compete in the Hunter under Saddle finals: Allison Merritt and Katie Skinner.

The team also won awards in 15 individual and team sections of the educational contest. This portion of the competition tests their knowledge of horse judging, identification of items and/or their uses and other horse-related items from any aspect of the horse industry.

Educational contest awards included first place (individual contestant phase) in the Horse Bowl, a quiz bowl contest where participants answer questions on horse-related topics, and in horse judging for the performance division (team phase), where the tables are turned as youth try to match the experts in deciding how a particular group of horses should be ranked if they were competing in a show. The S.C. Horse Bowl team placed second overall in the competition.  

Educational contest awards were:

Horse Bowl
Ashlyn Bassett, 16, Richburg; Kristin Hinson, 14, Lancaster; Adam Steele, 15, Chester; Ted Steele, 17, Chester; and Rachel Williams, 15, Fort Lawn

  • First place individual score, Ted Steele
  • Second place overall team ranking

Courtney Cabaniss, 18, Fort Lawn; Joseph Crim, 16, Wagener; Dia Dodson, 15, Richburg; and Lucy Wetzel, 15, Troy

  • Fifth place team problem
  • Fifth place team stations
  • Sixth place overall team ranking
  • Sixth place team exam
  • Eighth place team judging

Horse Judging
Josie Burden, 15, Ninety-Six; Kristin Hinson, 14, Lancaster; Amelia Nobles, 16, Ridgeville; and Rose O’Connor, 17, Sumter

  • First place performance division
  • Second place high individual performance division, Rose O’Connor
  • Fourth place high individual performance division, Amelia Nobles
  • Sixth place overall team ranking
  • Eighth place halter division
  • Ninth place reasons
  • Ninth place high individual overall, Amelia Nobles