Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo Horse Show

  • State Horse Expo

Grand Island, Nebraska
July 13-17, 2024

Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Show

The Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo is the pinnacle showing experience for members of the 4-H Horse Program. The show includes a multitude of classes for youth and their horses, such as halter and showmanship classes which are open to all youth. Some classes require that youth have passed Horsemanship Level II, and many classes require that youth have passed Horsemanship Level III or Level IV


Level 1* Required(may only enter 3 in-hand classes)

  • 1- & 2-Year-Old Lunging Halter Mares
  • 3- to 5-Year-Old Halter Mares
  • 6- to 10-Year-Old Halter Mares
  • 11 and Older Halter Mares
  • Miniature/Shetland Pony Halter Mares <46 in.
  • 1- & 2-Year-Old Lunging Halter Geldings
  • 3- to 5-Year-Old Halter Geldings
  • 6- to 10-Year-Old Halter Geldings
  • 11 and Older Halter Geldings
  • Miniature/Shetland Pony Halter Geldings <46 in.
  • Elementary Showmanship (youth 4-H ages 8-11)
  • Junior (youth 4-H ages 12-14)
  • Senior Showmanship (youth 4-H ages 15+)

Level II* Required

  • Hunter Under Saddle
  • Hunt Seat Equitation
  • Western Pleasure
  • Pony Pleasure
  • Western Horsemanship
  • English or Western Dressage
  • Ranch Pleasure
  • Barrels
  • Poles

Level III Required

  • Reining
  • Ranch Riding
  • Hunter Hack
  • 2-Year-Old Snaffle Bit Western Pleasure
  • 3-Year-Old Western Pleasure
  • Trail
  • Miniature/Shetland Pony In-Hand Trail
  • Working Ranch Horse (added $25 stock fee)
  • Advanced Hunter Under Saddle**
  • Advanced Western Pleasure**
  • Advanced Western Horsemanship**
  • Advanced Hunt Seat Equitation**
  • English or Western Dressage

*New for 2024 youth 8 & 9 year olds can compete in the Level I and II classes

**Must use a different horse from the horse(s) used in the Level II classes or can use the same horse in a different discipline.

Level IV

  • Western Riding


An exhibitor may enter 2-Year-Old Snaffle Bit Western Pleasure or the Three-Year-Old Pleasure in addition to another Pleasure class. However, the horse ridden in the 2-Year-Old Snaffle Bit class may not be ridden in any other class. The horse ridden in the 3-Year-Old Western Pleasure class may be ridden in another event, but not another Pleasure class. 

Rules, Regulations & Procedures

  1. Eligibility -
    1. Youth must be enrolled 4-H members ages 8-18 as of January 1st of the current year.
    2. Youth must be enrolled in the 4-H horse project. 
    3. Divisions are determined by youth's ages as of January 1st of the current year.
      • Elementary*: youth 4-H ages 8-11
      • Junior: youth 4-H ages 12-14
      • Senior: youth 4-H ages 15+
      • *Youth 8 & 9 are only eligible to compete in Level I and II classes.
    4. Youth must have passed the corresponding Horsemanship Advancement Level to class prior to entering the State 4-H Horse Show.
  2. Official Rule Book - The State 4-H Horse Shows will utilize the Nebraska 4-H Horse Show & Judging Guide as the official rule book.
  3. Check-In Hours - Check-in must be completed prior to the day you plan to show or by 8:00 a.m. the day you plan to show.
    • Saturday: 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
    • Sunday: 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
    • Monday: 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m-7:00 p.m.
    • Tuesday: 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m-7:00 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 6:45 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.
  4. Check-In Procedures -
    1. Stop at the check-in station under the overhang of the Thompson Arena before 8:00 a.m. the day of your first scheduled class or a day prior.
      • Bring your horse(s) unsaddled with nothing on them but a halter.
      • Bring your horse's 14-day health certificate and proof of negative Coggins (dated within the last 12 months). Health certificates and Coggins are required for all horses. Bring copies that you can leave.
      • Bring your horse IDs signed by the educator, parent, and exhibitor
      • You will receive the program of events with section times, your exhibitor number, and the pattern booklet.
    2. Proceed with stalling all horses.
  5. Stalling -
    • Exhibitors should bring a stall gate at least 48 inches wide.
    • All stalls will be required to have bedding and must be cleaned before releasing.
    • Shavings will not be available for purchase on the grounds. 
    • Exhibitors must bring their own feed.
  6. Health & Drug Policy -
    • No 4-H horse exhibitors and/or owner shall exhibit a horse at the Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Exposition that has been given in any manner whatsoever, internally or externally, a narcotic, stimulant, depressant, analgesic, local anesthetic, or drug of any kind within 24 hours before the first scheduled event of each show day at 8:00 a.m.
    • Horse on the prescribed treatment of phenylbutazone and/or aspirin-like products must file a statement in the 4-H Horse Show office before the horse can be shown. This statement must describe the treatment reason and be signed by an accredited D.V.M.
    • Show staff reserves the right to drug test any horse in any class at any time.
    • Biosecurity Policy
      • Allow only healthy horses to enter the facility. Entrance will require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) from an accredited veterinarian dated within the past 14 days for all new arrivals and be required to provide proof of negative Coggins within the last 12 months.
      • Examine all new arrivals for signs of contagious disease and verify that the CVI and Coggins required and the owner/agent statement match the horses being delivered and are in compliance with the requirements.
      • Immediately isolate any horse on the property suspected of having a contagious disease. There should be an evaluation by a veterinarian to determine etiology, biosecurity risk, and containment plan. Any treatment and follow-up procedures depend on the diagnosis. Appropriate cleaning and disinfection of the vacated stall the horse resided in is essential.
      • All horses on the Fonner Park property regardless if they are showing or not need to have a certificate of veterinary inspection (14-day health paper) and proof of negative Coggins even if not showing.
  7. Horses
    1. An exhibitor may enter Two-Year-Old Snaffle Bit Western Pleasure or the Three-Year-Old Pleasure in addition to another Pleasure class. However, the horse ridden in the Two-Year-Old Snaffle Bit class may not be ridden in any other class. The horse ridden in the Three-Year-Old Western Pleasure class may be ridden in another event, but not another Pleasure class. Entries for these classes must submit a 2- & 3-year-old Western Pleasure Affidavit as part of the horse identification process. Affidavits must be submitted prior to completing the entry process. See the entry information for more details. 
    2. Youth cannot ride the same horse in western pleasure and ranch pleasure.
  8. Changes- Any scratches or changes (class, horses, etc.) are through change forms the morning of the show at the show office.
  9. Severe Storm Policy & Plan -
    1. The show superintendent has the overall responsibility of monitoring the current and predicted weather conditions.
    2. Arena superintendents have the responsibility of monitoring weather conditions during all their scheduled classes.
    3. In the vent of severe weather or impending weather conditions, the exhibitors will be notified.
    4. All exhibitors and volunteers will be notified and asked to take shelter. All volunteers will be asked to report to the Thompson Indoor Arena.
    5. Criteria for suspension of the show:
      • When a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is seen or lightning is within 10 miles of the event, the show will be suspended and all will be asked to take shelter immediately.
      • Wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning strike is witnessed or has moved at least 10 miles away prior to resuming the show.
      • For any subsequent lightning after the beginning of the 3o minute count, reset the clock, and another 30-minute count should begin.
  10. The State 4-H Horse Exposition is held for Nebraska 4-H horse exhibitors. Parents, leaders, friends, Fonner Park, and Extension congratulate your efforts in qualifying and participating in these great horse shows. If 4-H exhibitors are physically able to exhibit their horses, they are also expected to prepare their horses for all events. Family and/or friend assistance is welcomed and expected, but warm-up riding, lunging, etc. by persons other than the exhibitor may require immediate and appropriate action by the show superintendent and the Nebraska 4-H Horse Advisory Committee.


For questions about this program or the information on this page, please contact: