Contests

The primary objective of the 4-H Hippology Contests is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H horse projects to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. These contests will provide an educational experience for both participants and spectators.

Age Divisions

  • Junior: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of the current year.(1-2 contestants)
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year. (3-4 contestants)

Eligibility

  • See General Contest Rules to determine the number of teams each county may enter at the State Contest.
  • Contestants must be enrolled in the 4-H horse project in the county they represent. 
  • Nebraska 4-H Horse Show dress code required. Exception - no hats or head gear permitted. 
  • At the Fonner Park State 4-H Expo, an individual may compete in either the Judging or Hippology, not both.
  • Contestants must not have participated in any post secondary (university, college, junior college, or technical school) competitive hippology contest. Neither can a contestant be a member of a post secondary team undergoing training in preparation for such an event. 
  • Youth who previously represented Nebraska at a national contest in the hippology contest area is not eligible for further participation at the state level. 

Contest Procedure

Phases & Locations

  • Judging Phase (Thompson Arena) - Monday
  • Written Exam Phase (Cafeteria) - Sunday
  • Station Phase (Cafeteria) - Sunday
  • Team Proble - Senior Division only (Cafeteria) - Sunday

Junior Team 

Members may work on the exam and station phase as a team. Judging phase and questions will be done independently. Discussion within team members is NOT allowed. Each contestant will turn in a separate judging placing and question answers, scores will be averaged.

Senior Team 

Members will work independently on ALL phases (exam, stations, judging and judging questions) independently EXPECT for team problem.

  1. Examination Phase - approximately 200 points - This phase of the contest will include: a written exam projected slides to be identified as to breed, color, color pattern, activity, proper appointments, etc. anatomy which may include external, skeletal, internal organs, parts of gastrointestinal tract, male and female reproductive organs, detailed anatomy of the foot and detailed lower limbs. 
  2. Station Phase - approximately 200 points - This phase will consist of a series of stations or tables where at each, all contestants will respond to the requirements of the station. Examples of stations which may be used include: Identification of: Various types of saddles (actual or pictured) and parts of saddles. Tack, bits, bridles, horse shoes, parts of shoes, restraints, ropes and knots. Tools and equipment, and assembly of specific parts of various pieces of equipment. Grains and forages used in equine rations including various forms or methods of preparation. Internal and external parasites based on actual samples, pictures, life cycle charts and/or damage caused. Blemishes and unsoundnesses. Ages of equines based on teeth. 
  3. Judging Phase - 200 points - Contestants will be required to place at least two (2) conformation classes and at least two (2) performance classes. Questions will be asked on 1 halter and 1 performance class. No oral reasons will be given. Every effort will be made to use the same horses as are being used in the judging contest, with placing to be simultaneous with contestants in the judging contest, with the same official placings and cuts as apply to the judging contest. In extreme emergency, pictorial, video and/or movie classes may be used, in which case they would be especially prepared for the event. 
  4. Team Problem - Senior Division only - 200 points - All teams will be presented with the same problem(s). Each team will have equal time to discuss among themselves the problem, immediately after which they will have to present an oral solution or series of suggested procedures relative to the problem. Each member of each team is encouraged to contribute to the oral presentation. Evaluation will be abase on the understanding of the problem, completeness of the response, the probability of success of the solution or procedures and the logic used in making the oral response. The official may ask questions of any or all of the team members to clarify the presentation. Examples of the possible team problems might include: Balancing a horse's ration. Farm management recommendations for specific horse operations (i.e. breeding, training, boarding, nursery, lay-up, etc.). Considerations for the establishment of a new horse facility (stable to be used for a specific purpose). Training and conditioning programs - equipment, schedules, methods, nutrition, problem avoidance. Teaching lessons in horse management (specific subject to be announced) to a group of 9 - 11 year old beginner 4-Her's: where, how long, how much information, hands-on experiences, reinforcement, testing evaluation, will be considered. Explanation of use or assembly of specific equipment.

Scoring

All ties overall, individual and team, will be broken using the following sequence: Examination scores Station scores Judging scores Ties within any phase are to be broken using the overall score first and then the same sequence as above. If further tie breaking is needed, the scores at each station, in order may be used.

Awards

Placings will be presented to all teams based on points. The top team will receive a Champion plaque and purple ribbons; second place team a Reserve Champion plaque/trophy and purple ribbons. All other teams will be presented with ribbons according to points earned. 

The highest placing purple ribbon team in which all members and alternates are at least 14 years of age or older will qualify as the Nebraska representative to the designated national or multi-state event. All national events presently require team members to be 14 years of age or older to participate. For more information, visit 4-H Horse Program National Contests & Eligibility.

Study Resources

The Horse Judging Contest is held at the State Horse Show.

Age Divisions

  • Junior: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of the current year
  • Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year

Eligibility

  • Contestants must be enrolled in the 4-H horse project in the county or EPU they represent. 
  • At the Fonner Park State 4-H Expo, an individual may compete in either Horse Judging or Hippology, NOT both. 
  • Each team consists of 3 to 4 members. Please refer to General Contest Rules to determine how many teams each county is eligible to send.
  • Nebraska 4-H Horse Show dress code required. Exception-no hats or head gear permitted. 
  • Contestants must not have participated in any post secondary (university, college, junior college, or technical school) competitive horse judging contest. Neither can a contestant be a member of a post secondary team undergoing training in preparation for such an event. 
  • Youth who previously represented Nebraska at a national contest in the Horse Judging Contest is not eligible for further participation at the state level.

Contest Procedure

  • A team may have 3 or 4 members. When 4 are entered, the 3 highest overall scores will make up the team totals. 
  • Contestants will be assigned to one of four groups, and will remain with that group throughout the entire contest. 
  • While the contest is in progress, there shall be no conferring between the contestants, or between contestants and anyone else except as authorized by the contest superintendent or their representatives. 
  • Four halter classes and four performance classes will be judged. Contestants will give oral reasons on two of the halter classes. All halter classes will be judged as sound of limb, eye, wind and mouth. Contestants will give oral reasons on two of the performance classes. 
  • Performance horses will be judged as seen (unsoundness to be penalized accordingly). 
  • The animals and showmen will be designated by numbers 1-2-3-4 and numbered from left to right as viewed from the rear. 
  • Horses will not be handled by the contestants, but time will be provided in halter classes for close inspection and to observe the horses at a walk and trot. 
  • Approximately 15 minutes will be allowed contestants to judge the classes, make observations, take notes, and fill out their cards. 
  • Contestants will be allowed two minutes to give their oral reasons to the judge. Contestants are not permitted to use notes while giving reasons. Contestants' placing cards will not be offered to them during their oral reasons. 
  • All tack and riders' attire will be considered legal. The judges shall place the classes while the contestants are working in the arena. The judges shall enter their placings on the official placing card, determine the cuts on the classes, and turn the card in so tabulations can begin while the contest is in progress. Contestants will give their oral reasons at the completion of the judging portion of the contest. At the completion of oral reasons, the judges will give the official placings, cuts, and explanations on all eight classes judged. 
  • Awards will be presented in Thompson Arena at approximately 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Scoring 

Fifty (50) points shall constitute a perfect score on placing, and fifty (50) points shall constitute a perfect score on reasons.

Priority order for breaking ties:

  • If tied for a division award in Halter or Performance, the contestant or team having the highest reason score in that division will be listed first. 
  • If tied for an award in reasons, the contestant or team having the highest placing score on the reasons classes will be listed first. 
  • If tied for individual or team overall award, the contestant or team having the highest overall reason score shall be listed first. 
  • If still tied for either (a) or (c) above, the contestant or team having the highest score in placing reason classes shall be listed first. 
  • If still tied, the contestant or team with the highest overall placing score will be listed first. 
  • If still tied, the contestant or team with the highest single class reasons score will be listed first. 
  • If contestants are still tied from above, the youngest contestant or team shall be listed first. 

Awards

The highest placing purple ribbon senior team in which all members and alternates are 14 years of age and older will qualify as the Nebraska representative to the designated national or multi-state event. For more information, visit 4-H Horse Program National Contest & Eligibility.

Alternates will be eligible for individual award. !!!

Entry Procedure

Entry forms are completed and submitted by local Extension offices. Please contact your local Extension office by June 15 to enter. Entry fees are $10.

Entry Forms: