Thirteen 4-H youth from Becker County participated in the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show, held Sept. 13-16 in Falcon Heights.

Young 4-H members from throughout the state demonstrated their skills and knowledge in hippology (i.e., knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry; horse judging (study of an animal, measuring it against an accepted ideal); horse training and achievemen; speech and demonstrations about interest in horses or the horse industry; showmanship; and drill team skills.

Two horse drill teams from Becker County competed in the freestyle division, with one participating in the event for teams of six members or less, and the other in the event for teams of 6-12 members.

The smaller team included Abbi Strandberg, Katelyn Schaefer, Elsa Lindstrom, Greta Lindstrom and Grace Gunderson; the large team included Jenna Tollefson, Isabella Syvertson, Jayda Swegarden, Julie Teiken, Cameron Lunde and Victoria Johnson. Each team placed second in their respective competitions.

The following Becker County 4-H members competed in individual horse events (placements in parentheses):

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  • Elliana Cymbaluk, Grade 9: English Hunt/Seat Equitation (1st); English Hunt/Seat Pleasure (2nd); Showmanship at Halter, Western (5th); Trail Class (3rd); Western Pleasure (3rd); Western Horsemanship (5th).
  • Jayda Swegarden, Grade 12: Games — Poles (6th), Barrels (5th), Jumping Figure 8 (6th), Key Race (6th).
  • Isabella Syvertson, Grade 12: Games — Poles (1st), Barrels (1st), Jumping Figure 8 (2nd), Key Race (4th).
  • Sophia Strand, Grade 6: Showmanship at Halter, Western (8th); Western Horsemanship (2nd).

Youth who participate in the Minnesota 4-H Horse Project learn about show, trail, and endurance riding; test their horse knowledge at quiz bowls or on judging teams, and study horse science. Youth may participate if they own or lease a horse. There are even options for youth who are interested in horses, but don’t have access to one in their community.

“Through the Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show, youth build communications skills, gain deeper learning and interest in horses, and build relationships with caring adults,” said Renee Kostick, an Extension educator who manages the 4-H horse project in Minnesota. “These experiences contribute to their success in school, community, and futures.”

To learn more about the Minnesota 4-H Horse Project, contact Becker County 4-H Program Coordinator Leigh Nelson-Edwards at 218-846-7328 or visit the website.