Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo Horse Show

State 4-H Horse Show

July 9-13, 2022 | Grand Island, Nebraska

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 regardless of district participation or Horsemanship Advancement Level. However, there are other classes that do require that youth have qualified at one of the district shows and passed Horsemanship Level II. In addition to these, many classes don't require district qualification but do, however, 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 10-11)
  • Junior (youth 4-H ages 12-14)
  • Senior Showmanship (youth 4-H ages 15+)

Level II Required (District Horse Show classes, must qualify to compete at state)

  • Hunter Under Saddle
  • Hunt Seat Equitation
  • Western Pleasure
  • Pony Pleasure
  • Western Horsemanship
  • 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 and Western Dressage (Level II or III required)

*Must use a different horse from the horse(s) used in the Level II district 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 10-18 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 10-11
      • Junior: youth 4-H ages 12-14
      • Senior: youth 4-H ages 15+
    4. Youth must have passed the Horsemanship Advancement Level II prior to entering any District 4-H Horse Shows or the State 4-H Horse Show.
  2. Official Rule Book - District and State 4-H Horse Shows will utilize the Nebraska 4-H Horse Show & Judging Guide as the official rule book.
  3. State Qualifiers - The District 4-H Horse Shows are held as qualifiers for corresponding classes at the State 4-H Horse Expo. All district-level purple and blue ribbon winners will qualifier for the corresponding state-level class. These qualifiers will be automatically entered into the appropriate state-level classes.
  4. Check-In Hours - Check In must be completed prior to the day you plan to show or by 8:00am the day you plan to show.
    • Saturday: 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    • Sunday: 6:45 am - 8:00 am & 5:00pm-7:00pm
    • Monday: 6:45 am - 8:00 am & 5:00pm-7:00pm
    • Tuesday: 6:45 am - 8:00 am & 5:00pm-7:00pm
    • Wednesday: 6:45 am - 8:00 am
  5. Check-In Procedures -
    1. Stop at the check-in station under the overhang of the Thompson Arena before 8a.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 ID's signed by educator, parent, and exhibitor
      • You will receive the program of events with section times, your exhibitor number, and pattern booklet.
    2. Proceed with stalling all horses.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 AM.
    • 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 reserve the right to drug test any horse in any class at any time.
    • Biosecurity Policy
  8. 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 District & State Horse Show Entry for more information. 
    2. Youth cannot ride the same horse in western pleasure and ranch pleasure.
  9. Changes- Any scratches or changes (class, horses, etc.) are through change forms the morning of the show at the show office.
  10. 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.
      • Any subsequent lightning after the beginning of the 3o minute count, reset the clock and another 30 minute count should be begin.
  11. 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: