Fox Valley Area 4-H Youth Dominate Regional Equine Contest,
Local 4-H’ers Advance to the State Competition
PLANO – 4-H members from Kane, Kendall and DuPage Counties placed in several divisions of the Northeast Regional 4-H Hippology and Horse Bowl Competition on Saturday, March 25 at Emily G. Johns School in Plano.
4-H youth from around the state compete at their regional event at various age levels, vying for entrance to the state contests in individual Hippology and team Horse Bowl. During the competitions, participants answer questions about equine anatomy and care including: diseases, genetics, parasites, feed, nutrition, behavior, breeds, equipment and the digestive, respiratory, skeletal, endocrine, and circulatory systems. University of Illinois Extension of Kendall County hosted the Northeast Region state-qualifying event, with leadership from the Kendall County 4-H Horse Committee volunteers.
“The youth, and their coaches, regularly meet to study academic and science materials and practice for the events,” said Deanna Roby, 4-H Youth Development Educator with University of Illinois Extension. “These contestants are very dedicated and work hard for months prior to the regional event, and many will go on to compete at state April 29 and 30.”
Horse Bowl competitions are like other scholastic bowls, with two teams competing at a time, and each trying to be the first to buzz in and answer correctly to score points. In the Hippology contest, individuals complete both a written test and visual stations to earn a combined score.
In the regional Horse Bowl Junior division, Kane County Team A earned top honors with its team of Samantha Lind and Nora Thompson of Maple Park, Andrew Haviland of Elgin, and Elizabeth Melton of St. Charles.
Kendall County Team 2 finished second with members Emily Wacker, Sara Buss, Karrington Kirkby and Jenna Buss, all of Yorkville.
DuPage County Team 1 claimed the third spot with Josephine Rauch of Downers Grove, Josie Schwab of Naperville, Madigan Mausiak of West Chicago, and Bridget Weyer of Warrenville.
Other junior teams competing included Kane County Team B, fourth place; Kendall County Team 1, fifth; Kane County Team C, sixth; a combined Grundy-Kane-DuPage team, seventh; and DuPage County Team 2, eighth.
The top 10 individual placements in the junior Horse Bowl contest were (in order): Jenna Buss, Josephine Rauch, Samantha Lind, Madigan Marusiak, Nora Thompson, Elizabeth Melton, Bridget Weyer, Ella Follman of Sycamore, Emily Wacker and Andrew Haviland.
In the Senior Horse Bowl division, Kane County earned the ticket to state with the team of Madde Klinkey and Gwen Klinkey of St. Charles; Miranda Scheel and Grace Feuerborn of Batavia. Grundy County took second in the division.
Senior level 4-H members also placed individually with top scores during the Horse Bowl (in order): Madde Klinkey, Gwen Klinkey, Miranda Scheel, Grace Feuerborn, Brook Viehman of Grundy County and Heather Girard of Grundy County.
In the Junior Hippology contest, tri-county 4-H members took nine of the top 10 places, earning regional ribbons. The top eight overall qualify for the state contest. Results are as follows: Rauch, Thompson, Michaela Persico of Montgomery (Kendall County), Weyer, Sara Buss, Mia Ratajczak (Grundy County), Madilynn Wietting of Joliet (Kendall County), and Faith Schmale of Wheaton (DuPage County). Kirkby, and Annika Copper of St. Charles (Kane County) rounded out the top 10.
In Intermediate Hippology, area 4-H’ers also will advance to the state competition (in order): Lind, Grace Feuerborn, Wacker, Anne Gulbransen of West Chicago (DuPage County), Jenna Buss, Schwab, Marusiak, and Elizabeth Melton. Rounding out the top 10 were Haviland and Ansonia McIntire of Elgin (Kane County).
At the Senior Hippology level, Kane County’s Scheel and Gwen Klinkey took first and second, and Grundy County’s Viehman and Girard placed third and fourth, respectively. All qualified for state.
Local 4-H youth were coached by Casey Blair, Kim Marusiak and Deb Woznicki, DuPage County; Rita Feuerborn, Jen Haviland, Sandy Klinkey, and Teresa Melton, Kane County; and Debbie Buss and Patti Wietting, Kendall County. In addition, Tammy Brigel of Oswego led the Kendall County Horse Committee in organizing and managing the event, along with Kim Eisnaugle, 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator for Kendall County, which hosted the event. Other event volunteers included: Melissa Aquino, Carol Boyer, Jessica Brigel, Debbie Granat, Kiley Granat, Leah Rende, Karen Sander, Chuck Smith, Pat Smith, Toby Staudacher, and veterinarians Dr. Joan McArthur and Dr. Jim Siegrist.
“Without the time and efforts of our 4-H volunteers, these youth would not have the chance to learn and grow through this program,” said Eisnaugle. “Opportunities like this allow 4-H members to build critical life skills, including communication and cooperation. We wish everyone best of luck at the state event.”
4-H is part of University of Illinois Extension. It is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. For more information on the 4-H program in your county, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/dkk/.