News Briefs

4-Hers gather in Castleton for state horse judging contest

CASTLETON—On May 1, 4-Hers from 10 Vermont counties traveled to Castleton to compete in the annual state 4-H Horse Judging Contest. At stake for seniors, ages 14 and up, was a spot on the state judging team that will compete in regional and national contests later this year.

Each contestant judged five performance and conformation classes and provided written placements for each class, which were compared to official placings by the judge.

While the younger 4-Hers were ranked solely on their judged scores, 4-Hers 12 and older also were required to present oral reasons to defend their placings. Scores from judging and oral reasons were combined for an overall score and final rank for these 4-Hers.

The event, co-hosted by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H and Rutland County 4-H, was held at Horse Amour (judging) and Castleton University (oral reasons).

The four youths achieving the highest overall scores in the senior division, thus earning a place on the state horse judging team, were Olivia Suker, Shrewsbury (first); Audrey Teague, Jeffersonville (second); Kylee Taylor, Athens (third); and Morgan Quimby, Underhill (fourth). Suker also captured first place in both judging and oral reasons.

First team alternate is Lauren Hodsden, Bridport, who finished fifth. Rounding out the placements for the senior division, in order, were Elyza Bird, Fair Haven; Kayla Yurkevicz, Brattleboro; and Samantha Turgeon, St. Johnsbury.

Rankings from first to last in the other age groups were:

  • Juniors, ages 8-9: Jenna Bennett, Swanton; Viola Brown, Vernon; Linsey Miles, Chester; Samantha Donahey, Essex Junction; Grace Trahnstrom, Mendon; Elizabeth Brown, Vernon; Lillian Parker, Bradford; Dominique Cave, Poultney
  • Juniors, ages 10-11: Whitney Dunklee, Vernon; Emeillia Gomo, Chester; Jenna Dolloph, Chester; Emma Rubin, Jericho; Zoe Aigner, Fair Haven; Renee Payton, Danville; Zoe Chaves, Chester; Emily Shields, North Clarendon; Shyanne Wedge, Shoreham
  • Juniors, ages 12-13: Emma Cushman, Barre; Grace Parks, Essex Junction; McKenna White, Whiting; Faith Ploof, Essex Junction; Eva Joly, Essex Junction; Allison Tourville, Milton; Emma Suker, Shrewsbury; Bella Joly, Essex Junction; Lilia Kocsis, Vernon; Lily Tuckerman, Woodstock; Ashley LaFlam, Guilford; Amy McGee, Rutland

The 4-H teens who assisted with this event were Lexy Brooks, Whitehall, N. Y.; David Gringeri, West Haven; Hannah Lang, Essex; Catherine Thrasher, Rupert; Alexis Walker, Westford; and Kassidy Wyman, Cambridgeport. They are all members of past state 4-H horse judging teams.

To learn more about the 4-H horse project and upcoming horse events, please contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at (802) 656-5418 or toll-free at (800) 571-0668, ext. 2 or by e-mail at

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