Gordon County 4-H horse team members Olivia Tierce, Ansley Shelton and Kansas Angel.

Gordon County 4-H placed second in the senior team competition at the Georgia 4-H Hippology and Horse Judging Contest, held in Athens earlier this month, earning the right to compete at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship contest in August.

Team members from Gordon County 4-H made up a group of 80 youth participating in the competition on May 3 and May 4 at the University of Georgia Livestock Instructional Arena.

The Equine Program is dedicated to teaching Georgia’s youth equine husbandry as well as life skills such as critical thinking, teamwork and oral communication skills.

“Learning about standards of various horse breeds is fun and can even lead to a professional career as a horse show judge,” said Julia McCann, a UGA equine specialist. “But learning to confidently defend decisions for placing classes not only enhances horsemanship skills and insight but refines oral skills that may impact interview or public speaking skills in a positive manner.”

The main components of the contest are placing a class of either conformation halter or performance horse classes as well as justifying their placing decision through a set of oral reasons. The 4-H’ers are awarded higher scores for reasons that are accurate, confidently presented and organized to create a clear picture of the horses and justify their placing decision.

The winners will earn Georgia Master 4-H’er status and be honored at Georgia State 4-H Congress in July in Atlanta. The overall first and second place teams in the Georgia 4-H state contest also earn the honor of representing Georgia in the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship contest held in Perry the first week in August.

Hippology contest

The hippology contest is an innovative event that provides 4-H’ers with an opportunity for horse project members to use their horse project knowledge, advancing their knowledge, abilities and confidence.

Gordon County 4-H fielded a horse judging team for only the second time in recent years, and competed in their first ever hippology team. Team members were Kansas Angel, Ansley Shelton and Olivia Tierce. The team was coached by volunteer leader Danielle Griffin.

The team placed fourth in the hippology contest, and Angel placed in the top five individuals in multiple stations, including second in judging, fifth in test, and fifth overall high individual. In the horse judging contest, all three placed in the top 10 individuals with Tierce placing fourth, Angel placing sixth and Shelton placing seventh.

Hippology Competition is comprised of four categories: examination phase, station phase, judging phase and team problem.

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 175,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Gordon County Extension office at 706-629-8685.

Think you’re a top shot?

On Saturday, Gordon County 4-H will be hosting a modified trap shotgun competition at 10 a.m.

The competition will be held at the shotgun practice field at 1282 Ga. 53 Spur SW in Calhoun. All Georgia 4-H competition rules will be followed.

Teams of four to five members can enter the competition for $100, and individuals can shoot for $25.

In the team competition, the top four scoring team members’ scores will count and ties will be broken by shooting mini clay targets. The top two teams will receive trophies for each team member. All proceeds of the shoot go to benefit the Gordon County 4-H shotgun team.

There is no need to pre-register, and all are welcome to participate.

Contact the Gordon County Extension/4-H Office at 706-629-8685 for more information.

4-H calendar

Saturday – Shotgun Tournament Fundraiser – open to the public

May 24 – Dean’s Award Submission Deadline

May 25-26 – Target Challenge Weekend-State Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays Shotgun Competition