And the Winner Is Lucy…Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year!

A selection committee of horse people, teachers, and horse advisory members that were unaffiliated with applicants reviewed and scored the 10 excellent entries that were submitted to recognize the 2014 Delaware 4-H Horse of the Year.  Applicants were asked to write on the subject of “My Horse/Pony has Promoted the Delaware 4-H Horse Program By…” A scoring rubic was utilized by the committee that took into account meeting the essay requirements, ideas and content, grammar and spelling , sentimental and emotional value and age appropriateness.

 The winning essay was submitted by Nicole Cannavo of the Hearts 4-Horses 4-H Club in Kent County.  Here is just a short excerpt from her winning essay titled,” Not Just an Old Mare” which was written from the mare Lucy’s perspective.

Nicole’s winning essay follows.

Hi, my name is Lucy; I am a 20 year old mare, owned and loved by my little girl.  I am not just an old mare; I am a proud Delaware State 4-H Horse Project member.  Together my little girl and I help promote the Delaware 4-H Horse Program.  We both love 4-H and have been active members of our club together for 5 years.  I play a big role in my little girl’s 4-H life, where we do all kinds of fun things together.

One of the things I love to do is go to the Delaware 4-H Horse Show during the fair.  I love all the attention and can’t wait to get in the ring.  My little girl is always helping her fellow club members.  One year we even did lead line with another little girl riding me with my girl leading.  Because I am older, I know when I have a new rider on my back so I am always cautious, but it was fun to see a new little one showing at the 4-H show.

What I love about 4-H is that my little girl goes to her meetings and then comes home and tries out all the cool stuff she has learned on me.  My little girl learned how to groom, be safe, and properly take care of me at 4-H.  I get excited to see what she is going to try on me next.  The kids in her club have come to our house and watched me get my teeth floated, have my feet trimmed and even get shots.  Since I love the attention, I stand like a good old mare and let them do whatever they want to me in order to help teach the kids.  My girls’ two year old nephew rode me by himself, so I took it nice and slow and he was completely safe.  I love teaching new horse kids.  I can tell if they are nervous or afraid to be around me.  If they are riding me and do something wrong or I feel they are scared, I will stop or just walk softer.  I guess it might be selfish but I love that my girl is in 4-H, it makes for more attention for me!!

Sometimes my little girl’s Mom will take us for a ride in the trailer.  We love to trail ride together whenever we get a chance.  The Delaware 4-H program has a trail ride every year at the Redden State Forest.  I enjoy hanging out with the other horses and my little girl’s friends.  It is a nice change of scenery and the kids all have fun.  I take good care of my little girl and make sure I don’t spook because she takes good care of me.  My little girl has taken pictures of me for the 4-H photo contest.  She has had people come over and put sticky notes all over me with my body parts written on them for horse bowl practice.  One year, we went to a farm and all the horses and I were dressed in funny looking outfits for what they called a 4-H Halloween costume party.  It was embarrassing for me but all the kids had a great time.  Lately my girl’s friends and she have been putting mud all over me and then brushing me off(which I don’t understand).  They have also been practicing showmanship patterns with different kids in her club.  I love watching my little girl have fun with her 4-H friends, and if they are playing with me, that’s even better.

It makes me proud to see my little girl become a responsible horsewoman which 4-H has played a large role in.  The Delaware 4-H Horse program is an awesome program which, as an old mare, I am glad to be a part of.  I get to teach and help not only my little girl but other kids as well.  Together my girl and I have learned a lot through our years in the horse project of 4-H.  The friendships, the learning and most importantly, the memories are what 4-H is about.

Nicole will be presented with a custom made model of her horse Lucy at the Kent County 4-H Achievement banquet in October generously created and donated by Peter Stone Model Horses.  For more information on the Peter Stone Model Horse Company please visit

Please keep your eye out for the nomination form and topic for the 2015 Delaware 4-H Horse/Pony of the Year in the fall and your chance to have your own custom made model!

Harrington to Host Summer Harness Racing Camp

2013 HHYF Camper Driving on the Front Track at Harrington Raceway
2013 HHYF Camper Driving on the Front Track at Harrington Raceway

Harrington Raceway is again playing host to a summer harness racing camp for youth ages 12-14.  The camp is provided through a 3 way partnership formed between the Harness Horse Youth Foundation(HHYF), Harrington Raceway and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.  Campers will stay overnight at Harrington Raceway and spend a significant amount of time working hands on with the HHYF stable of Trottingbred racing ponies.  Campers will participate in and learn about the daily care of race horses, racing equipment and harnessing, safety around horses and how to drive their equine athletes on the track.  In addition to HHYF and extension staff, local, professional drivers and trainers will be present at camp on a daily basis to help guide and instruct campers.   The 5 day engaging camp experience culminates with campers partnering with professional drivers to race their ponies on the main track at Harrington Raceway, Wednesday evening June 25 in between the betting races.  Registration for the camp is $150 and covers all accommodations, meals and field trips.  Registrations must be received by May 15, 2014. Applications are available by clicking on the link below:

HHYF_logo_blueThe Harness Horse Youth Foundation is a charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing young people and their families educational opportunities with harness horses, in order to foster the next generation of participants and fans. The Foundation has been making a difference in young people’s lives since 1976, and its programs include interactive learning experiences with these versatile animals, scholarship programs, and creation and distribution of educational materials.  For more information on the HHYF, please visit their website at: or check out the HHYF video on YouTube

Showmanship Refresher Workshop April 22

ShowmanshipAre You New to Showing Horses or in Need of a Spring Refresher on Showmanship?

No matter if you are new to showing, considering showing or an experienced exhibitor, please join us to learn more about showmanship at the State 4-H Horse Show!  The Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory Committee is hosting a Showmanship workshop on April 22, 2014 from 6:00- 8:00 pm at the UD Paradee Center in Dover, 69 Transportation Circle.

Join equine professionals, 4-H volunteers and 4-H members from across Delaware for an evening of fun learning!

Topics covered will include:

  • Important tips for presenting your horse or pony during fitting and showmanship classes
  • Exhibitor attire
  • Fitting and Showmanship scorecard
  • Delaware 4-H Horse Show Rule Book

Please contact Becky Smith, Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory President (302)373-4818 or Sharon Little (302)398-9518 to register for workshop, handouts and snacks.  Free for Delaware 4-H members and parents, $5.00 registration fee for all others.

 If you anticipate needing special accommodations, please contact the Kent County Extension office at (302)730-4000 before your visit or at least two weeks prior to the program event. 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.

Delaware 4-H Members Test Equine Knowledge at Horse Bowl

85 Delaware 4-H members representing 26 teams competed recently in the State 4-H Horse Bowl Competition held at Lake Forest North Elementary in Felton, Delaware.  The Horse Bowl event is a knowledge- based, quiz bowl 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, sponsors this annual event. Members compete on teams of up to four individuals and teams are divided into brackets based on age.  4-H volunteer adult leaders coach young people to prepare them in the months leading up to the competition.  41 Delaware 4-H volunteers assisted with the Horse Bowl event.

The top three teams in each age division were:

Beginner (8-10 year olds)

1st Place– Mini Stars- Sussex County

       Team Members: Ruby Phillips, Layne Smith

       Coaches: Jodie Gravenor, Heather Smith

2nd Place– Palomino Ponies, Sussex County

       Team Members:  Cheyenne Bowman, Alexia Carroll, Donna Mullins, Paige Taylor

       Coach:  Heather Taylor

3rd Place- Stable Minds- Kent County

       Team Members: Bethany Butler, Alex Docherty, Ally Smith, Ashton Stafford

       Coaches: Heather Crouse, Stacy Stafford

Junior (11-13 year olds)

1st Place- Boots “N” Spurs- Sussex County

       Team Members: Katelyn Records, Garrett Smith

       Coach: Heather Records

2nd Place– Westville Wicked Riders- Kent County

       Team Members: McKenna Corbeil, Maggie Kling

       Coach: Brittany Blacksten, Laura Pomatto

3rd Place– Hearts-4-Horses- Kent County

       Team Members: Rebekah Baughman, Nicole Cannavo, Ashlyn North, Donna Urian

       Coach: Betsy Cannavo, Lee Halloran

Senior (14-19 year olds)

1st Place– Buckin’ Beauties- Sussex County

       Team Members: Jackie Arpie, Rebecca Arpie, Mikayla Ockels, Whitney Records

       Coach: Cindy Ockels

2nd Place– Hearts-4-Horses-Kent County

       Team Members: Lexi Bloxom, Haley Reynolds, Hannah Ziccarelli

       Coach: Rosemary Baughman, Connie Edwards

3rd Place– Holler-N-Hooves 4-H Club- Kent County

       Team Members: Sara Deason, Katie Messick

        Coaches: Sharon Little

4-H is a community of young people across Delaware learning leadership, citizenship and lifeskills.  Join the Revolution of Responsibility!  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

Delaware Equine Council Scholarship Applications Due January 31

 The Delaware Equine Council offeres one or more scholarships annually to those who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, or a legal resident alien
  • Must be a Delaware resident or DEC member. ($10.00 for individual membership)
  • Must be enrolled and in good standing at an agricultural or equine course of study or related field, or a veterinary or vet tech program in the United States
  • Must have completed, or are about to complete, one full semester.

In addition, you must include a transcript of one full semester of grades along with the completed apoplication and a 250-word typed essay on the topic of “How I Plan to Use This Course of Study to Further the Equine or Agricultural Industry.”

Mail applications to: Delaware Equine Council, Scholarship Committee, P. O. Box 158, Harrington, DE 19952-5435

Application must be postmarked by January 31, 2014. Winners will be notified in February.  The scholarship awards dinner will be held March 22, 2014.  For more information and an application, please visit the Delaware Equine Council Scholarship webpage at