West suburban 4-H youth score high at equestrian competitions

4-H youth from around the state compete at regional events at various age levels, vying for entrance to the state contests in individual Hippology and team Horse Bowl. (Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Extension)

Members from DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties 4-H took top honors in several divisions of the Northeast Regional 4-H Hippology and Horse Bowl Competition in March, and advanced to the state contest April 13-14 at University of Illinois.

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.

“These 4-H youths dedicate months to studying academic and science materials, and practicing for the contests,” said Deanna Roby, county director for University of Illinois Extension of DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties.

4-H youth from around the state compete at regional events 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.

The 2019 Northeast Regional event drew from DuPage, Grundy, Kendall, Kane and McHenry counties.

In the Horse Bowl Junior division, Kendall County Team 2 took first place, and members competing were Sara Buss and Karrington Kirkby of Yorkville, Michaela Persico of Montgomery, and Kailey Wietting of Joliet.

Earning second-place honors was the DuPage County junior team of Joshua Blair, Bridget Weyer, and Dayna Weyer, all of Warrenville, and Ravinia Zillmer of Bartlett. Alexanne Blair of Warrenville served as alternate. Kendall County Team 1 finished third, with members Lilianna Casbarian of Yorkville, Alexis Modaff of Oswego, Annelise Veeder of Montgomery and Brady Wietting of Joliet. The Kane County junior team took fourth, with members Annika Copper and Tristan Melton of St. Charles, Samuel Haviland of Elgin, and Matilda N. of Batavia. Amanda L. of Batavia served as alternate. McHenry and Grundy county teams placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

Tri-County 4-H youth also took all top 10 individual high points placements in the junior Horse Bowl contest: Persico, first; Buss, second; B. Weyer, third; Kirkby, fourth; Copper, fifth; Casbarian, sixth; K. Wietting, seventh; Zillmer, eighth; Veeder, ninth and D. Weyer, 10th.

In the Horse Bowl Senior division, the Kane County team took first place with 95 points, earning a bid to state. Participants were Alexandra Garcia, Gwen Klinkey, Ella Melei and Elizabeth Melton, all of St. Charles. DuPage County seniors placed third with the team of Andrew Blair of Warrenville, Anne Gulbransen of West Chicago, Grace Hinley of Glen Ellyn and Kyla Rowley of Wheaton.

These 4-H members also claimed seven of the top 10 individual points in the senior contest: Klinkey, first; E. Melton, third; Melei, fourth; Rowley, sixth; Hinley, seventh; and A. Blair, ninth.

In the Junior Hippology contest, local 4-H members claimed eight of the top 10 places, all earning regional ribbons with the top eight qualifying for the state contest. They are: K. Wietting, first place; Veeder, second; Casbarian, third; Matilda N., fifth; D. Weyer, sixth; Modaff, seventh; B. Wietting, eighth; and Abigail Munar of Plano, 10th.

At the Intermediate level, local 4-H’ers also nabbed top honors: Persico, first place; Buss, third; Zillmer, fourth; B. Weyer, sixth; Kirkby, seventh; Melei, eighth; T. Melton, ninth; and Copper, 10th. The top eight advance to state. Local Senior Hippology placeholders heading to state include: Rowley, first; Gulbransen, second; E. Melton, third; and Hinley, seventh.

The 4-H teams’ volunteer coaches are: Casey Blair of DuPage County; Sandy Klinkey and Teresa Melton, Kane County; and Debbie Buss, Kim Kirkby and Patti Wietting, Kendall County.

“Our 4-H volunteers are the backbone of many of our programs, providing youth with additional valuable opportunities like this one,” said Roby. “Through these experiences, 4-H members build important life skills, such as preparation, team work, communication, and more.”

For more information on the 4-H program in your county, visit go.illinois.edu/extensiondkk