Delaware 4-H’ers Compete at State 4-H Hippology Contest

The Delaware 4-H program held their statewide 4-H Hippology contest on Saturday, December 2 at the Blue Diamond Equestrian Center at Rowan Farm in Middletown, Delaware. Hippology meaning “study of the horse” is an activity that enhances learning for 4-H members by letting them exhibit their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a competitive setting. 50 youth ages 8-19 from across the state participated in the hands on competition. The Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory Committee, a group composed of 4-H volunteers from all three Delaware counties that are dedicated to providing quality 4-H horse programs to members, sponsored the event.

4-H members competed in both individual and team categories. The individual portion of the contest had competitors complete five different station based activities focused on equine anatomy, tack, grooming equipment, horse coat color and marking identification and horse breed identification. In the team portion of the contest youth competed on teams of up to four individuals to complete more difficult and comprehensive team problem solving activities. The two team problem solving activities involved safety; requiring youth to identify safety issues that were staged in the barn area as well as in a horse trailer, and hay; requiring youth to identify different types of hay, identify quality issues with hay samples and match horse production and feeding scenarios to the proper hay choices.

4-H volunteer adult leaders coached young people in the month leading up to the competition to prepare them using specified resource materials. Special thanks to Brianne Everline of Blue Diamond Equestrian Center and Rowan Farm owned by Kim and Emmett Meier for providing the location for the event. Thanks also to the Delaware State University Equestrian Team and Head Coach Jennifer Ridgely for providing station monitors and timing for the event.

The High Individuals in each age division were:

• Beginner (8-10 year olds) tie
Miranda Garey- Peach Blossom 4-H Club, Kent County
Clara Gulick- Tails and Trails 4-H Club New Castle County

• Intermediate (11-13 year olds)
Danielle Eisemann- Country Clovers 4-H Club, Sussex County

• Senior (14-19 year olds)
Carly Mekulski- Tails ‘n Trails 4-H Club, New Castle County

The High Teams in each age division were:

Beginner (8-10 year olds) tie
Camo and Cowgirls- Peach Blossom 4-H Club, Kent County
Members; Miranda Garey, Savannah Messick, Carley Rebuck, Ethan Stafford

Shooting Stars- Country Clovers 4-H Club, Sussex County
Members; Clara Gulick, Chloe Megee, Cate Reilly, Steph Strachar

• Intermediate (11-13 year olds)
Spirit of the Stallion- Country Clovers 4-H Club, Sussex County
Members: Danielle Eisemann, Ava Reilly, Hailey Smith, Christopher Vargas

• Senior (14-19 year olds)
The Unicorns- Hearts 4 Horses 4-H Club, Kent County
Members: Sierra Kane, Rylee Ridgely, Alexis Skodzinski

4-H is a community of young people across Delaware learning leadership, citizenship and lifeskills. For more information on becoming a 4-H member or volunteer in Delaware please contact your county extension office:

New Castle County: (302)831-8965
Kent County: (302)730-4000
Sussex County: (302)856-7303

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.