Contest tests 4-H’ers’ knowledge of horses

CLARENDON, Vt. – It was everything equine Sunday, Jan. 27 when several area 4-H’ers gathered at the Clarendon Elementary School in North Clarendon for the annual Rutland and Bennington County 4-H Hippology Contest.

The 34 participants competed by age group, demonstrating their knowledge of horses through a written exam, slide identifications, and six identification stations where they were evaluated on how well they understood the information or performed a specific task. The stations covered breeds, equine equipment, color variations, behavioral traits, bits and riding disciplines. Scores from all phases of the competition were combined for an overall score and placement.

Winners of the Senior Division for 4-H members ages 14-18 were, in order of placement: Emma Cushman, Barre; Alexia Diaz, Rutland; Cheyenne Steves, Fair Haven; and Heidi Kerns, Mendon.

In the Junior Division, ages 12-13, contestants placed as follows: Emeillia Gomo, Chester; Grace Trahnstrom, Mendon; Emily Shields, Benson; Tayah Fuller, Poultney; Olivia Williams, Center Rutland; Emily Flanders, Mount Holly, and Makenna Dick, Pittsford (tied for sixth place); Abby Geno, Graniteville; Catie Austin, Stockbridge; Megan Stanley, West Rutland; Isabella Barber, Clemons, N.Y.; Annabelle Mahar, Middletown Springs; and Sophia Buonadonna, Rutland.

Placements for Juniors, ages 10-11, were Rose Ouimet, Castleton; Carlie Erickson, Rutland; Seanna Erickson, Florence; Morgan Wood, Brandon; Aubrey Pitts, Shrewsbury; Amelia Barber, Clemons, N.Y.; Emily Buffum, Mount Holly; Andrew Kellogg, Rutland, and Dominique Cave, Poultney (tied for eighth place); and Dylan Kellogg, Rutland.

The Novice Division, for ages 8-9, had five competitors. Renee Trombley, Pittsford, placed first, followed in order by Adeline White, Brandon; Olivia Bullock, Rutland; Emmeline Barber, Clemons, N.Y.; and Eliza Peer, West Rutland.

Two Cloverbuds (4-H’ers 5-7 years old) also took part in the event but were not eligible to receive ribbons. They were Ariana Kuzma, Chittenden, and Lucia Stubbins, Rutland, both members of the Wind Riders 4-H Club of Rutland.

When not competing, the 4-H’ers participated in a number of fun activities including coloring horse images, playing board games, jumping rope, hula hooping and dancing to pop music. The Horsepower 4-H Club of Castleton operated a concession stand with breakfast and lunch items for sale.

The event was sponsored by University of Vermont Extension 4-H in Bennington and Rutland counties. To learn more about the 4-H program in these counties, contact UVM Extension 4-H educator Kimberly Griffin at

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