CAMBRIDGE — Dorchester County’s 4-H horse judging and hippology teams competed at the state-wide contest on Saturday, June 15, held at the Howard County Fair Grounds.
Senior member Rachel Widmaier, 15, having made the 2018 Maryland State Hippology Team and who went on to compete nationally, went on to win the 2019 Maryland State Horse Judging Contest prevailing over 30 other senior division youth aged 14 to 18.
Widmaier qualified for a chance to compete on a state team that competes nationally in Louisville, Ky.
Altogether, six youth competed in the state competition.
Junior member Tessa Diefenderfer, 8, placed fourth in performance judging and received a white ribbon in hippology.
Intermediates Skylar Blunt, 13 and Clara McKenna, 12, placed well for their first year of judging and second year of competing in hippology. Blunt placed third overall in novice judging and earned a red ribbon in hippology. McKenna placed sixth overall in novice judging and a red ribbon in hippology.
In their first year competing at the senior level, Pippa Milhollan, 14, received a white ribbon in hippology, and Caroline Wilson, 14, received a red ribbon in hippology.
Horse judging allows youth to test their knowledge and skills of horse conformation and riding sports by judging and placing live horse show classes. Hippology means “the study of horses,” and the state contest rigorously tests 4-Hers’ knowledge of horses and horse-related items. In preparation for the competition, the team collaborated with local horse farms and equine specialists.
The team is looking forward to practicing for next year’s competition by visiting more farms with a variety of horse breeds and specialties.
The Dorchester County 4-H program invites children between the ages of five and 18 who love horses and want to learn more. Horse ownership or experience is not necessary.
The Dorchester County 4-H program is the youth development program of University of Maryland Extension. 4-H is open to any youth ages 5 to 18 (as of Jan. 1). 4-H is an equal access and equal opportunity program. For more information about 4-H, call 410-228-8800 or email 4-H Agent Associate Missy Tucker at email@example.com. Visit the website at extension.umd.edu/dorchester-county/dorchester-county-4-h-youth-development-program.