ATHENS, Ga. — Competitors at the Georgia 4-H State Horse Show reined in the awards at the Georgia National Fair Grounds in Perry. Held from June 7 to 11, the event welcomed 129 contestants who competed in five main disciplines including stock seat, ranch horse, hunt seat, saddle seat and contest events. The theme of the 2022 show was “Stirrup the Fun.”
Horse programs through Georgia 4-H are designed to educate participants about horse care and handling and Georgia’s equine industry. Students learn through hands-on activities designed to develop horsemanship and teach skills in leadership, communication, decision-making and personal management.
“This show draws youth from all corners of Georgia to ride, compete, learn and have fun with their horses,” said Julia McCann, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension equine specialist. “The disciplines and classes generate interaction and learning opportunities with the judges and other professionals who help youth refine their horsemanship skills.”
The statewide show does not require previous qualification and welcomes 4-H’ers who have completed fourth through 12th grades. Each competitor must be a member of a county 4-H program, own or lease a horse by March 1, and complete the “4-H Novice Horseman” workbook.
Georgia 4-H’ers are also invited to compete in the Horse Educational Contests that coincide with the traditional show. These contests include public speaking, method demonstration, drawing, painting, essay and photography events and are designed to increase opportunities for all 4-H’ers to benefit from equine programming.
Awards are presented in each main discipline based on points acquired across subclasses and are divided by age groups, with Cloverleaf including fourth through sixth grades, Junior including seventh and eighth grades, and Senior including ninth through 12th grades.
- In the stock seat discipline, the high point Cloverleaf was Sara Morgan Sapp from Burke County; high point Junior was Aubrey Icard from Houston County; and high point Senior was Hannah Minchew from Towns County.
- In the ranch horse discipline, the high point Cloverleaf was Sara Morgan Sapp from Burke County; the high point Junior was Kaylee Cahill from Bleckley County; and high point Senior was Holt Sapp from Burke County.
- In the hunt seat discipline, the high point Cloverleaf was Grace McNair from Bulloch County; high point Junior was Addison Nix from Hall County; and high point Senior was Hannah Minchew from Towns County.
- In the saddle seat discipline, the high point Junior was Sophie Lewis from Wayne County and the high point Senior was Bailey Braddon from Cherokee County.
- In the contest discipline, the high point Junior was Taylor Futch from Tattnall County and the high point senior was Hannah Minchew from Towns County.
Sportsmanship awards are presented to individuals who demonstrate the life skills Georgia 4-H seeks to instill in youth. The horse show staff selects kind, helpful and courteous students who are outstanding representatives of Georgia 4-H while at the State Horse Show.
Sportsmanship awards were awarded to Mattie Fussell from Coffee County in the contest discipline, Emilee Smith from Morgan County in the hunt seat discipline, Ella Geiger from Wayne County in the saddle seat discipline, and Dustin Thomas from Forsyth County in the stock seat discipline.
The Best in Show Award from the educational contests went to Avery Pruett from Coweta County for her entry in the horse painting contest.
Complete results from all contests can be found at georgia4h.org/horseshow.
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 225,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information about Georgia 4-H, contact your local UGA Extension office or visit georgia4h.org.
–Josie Smith, Georgia 4-H