In early November, the NYS 4-H Horse Program took 14 senior youth from across the state and over ten different counties to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup, the largest 4-H horse contest in the country. Youth, parents, coaches, volunteers, and state staff members loaded a bus on November 3 to make the journey to Kentucky and competed in 4 different horse educational events including Horse Bowl, a jeopardy-style equine knowledge game, Horse Judging, youth judge eight different classes of horses and provide four sets of reasons to a judge, Horse Communications, youth present on an equine topic of their choice, and Horse Hippology, which is compiled of stations, team problem, judging, a written test, and a hands-on component.
This year, there were over 240 youth from across the country who represented 22 states who participated at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup. Making it to Nationals is an accomplishment all on its own. The senior youth from New York that boarded that bus that first day first had to compete at their local Regional Contest to qualify to compete at the State Level. The top-placing youth from the senior division at the State Contests are invited to compete in Kentucky.
These educational contests bring a group of youth together each November on that Nationals bus. But watching them over the duration of the weekend makes the experience so wonderful. These youth are encouraging, smart, dedicated, caring, and truly are remarkable examples of 4-H youth. The youth this year were able to not only compete in their contest areas, but also able to tour Churchill Downs Racetrack, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, and the Kentucky Horse Park. These tours were inspiring and educational, but the results that these NYS youth had during the awards banquet after the contests were complete was truly inspiring.
The 2022 Nationals 4-H Horse Bowl Results:
Overall Top Ten Team Result: 2nd place Reserve Grand Champion Nationals Team – New York
High Individual Results: 1st place: Payton Youngers (Cayuga County), 2nd place: Jacob Leitzan(Erie County), 6th place: Michellynn Schroeder (Niagara County), and 11th place: Tess Bergfjord(Tioga County)
2022 Nationals 4-H Horse Judging Results:
High Teams in Performance: 10th place: New York. Team members included: Morgan Cheney (Steuben County), Ellie Grace (Delaware County), Ryann McElroy (Sullivan County), Emerson Swimelar (Chemung County)
2022 Nationals 4-H Horse Communications Results:
Overall Top Ten Team Result: 10th place High Teams Overall – New York
Public Speaking High Individual: 7th place: Rylee Keiffer (Niagara County)
Individual Presentations High Individual: 9th place: Tegenya Graziano (Chautauqua County)
2022 4-H Horse Hippology Nationals Results:
Overall Top Ten Teams Result: 3rd place – New York. Team members included: Elizabeth de Smidt (Wayne County), Miranda “Rose” Lanzatella (Monroe County), Katie Dristle (Cayuga County), and Haley McCarthy (Cayuga County).
High Individual Overall: 1st place – Katie Dristle (Cayuga County)
High Teams in Station Phase: 3rd place – New York
High Individual in Station Phase: 1st place - Katie Dristle (Cayuga County)
High Teams in Judging Phase: 8th place – New York
High Individual in Judging Phase: 10th place - Katie Dristle (Cayuga County
High Team in Problem Solving Phase: 4th place – New York
High Teams Written Phase: 2nd Place – New York
High Individuals in Written Phase: 6th place - Katie Dristle (Cayuga County) & 10th place - Elizabeth De Smidt (Wayne County)
These results are truly amazing and demonstrate the time, effort, and dedication that the NYS youth put into their contests. We are so incredibly proud of our youth and of their accomplishments. You all did a wonderful job, and your dedication and good sportsmanship were outstanding. To all our coaches, volunteers, and parents who help the youth prepare leading up to Nationals and who were also on that bus - THANK YOU! You all are truly striving to make the best better! Congratulations to you all!!