Writer: Chelsie Huseman
The 55th Annual Texas State 4-H Horse Show took place on July 23-29, 2017 in Abilene, Texas, which included new programs connecting youth and higher education and providing educational opportunities beyond exhibiting horses. Over 350 4-H youth, plus their families came to the Taylor County Expo from across the state to compete in over forty classes ranging from speed events, to stock horse and hunter classes.
Dr. Jennifer Zoller, assistant professor and horse specialist, and Chelsie Huseman, horse program specialist, along with numerous county extension agents, volunteers and supporters, managed the seven-day show. Texas A&M graduate students Kailyn Capps and Elizabeth Ennis provided vital help with show management as well. Horse extension interns and Texas A&M students Ashton Dunkel and Breanna Jackson were instrumental in development and execution of new programs, such as the Saddle Up for College and Attitude of Gratitude events.
As part of the collegiate event, Saddle Up for College, eight Texas colleges and major universities attended a three-day session in the middle of the show to introduce show participants to collegiate opportunities available to them. The Department of Animal Science sponsored a luncheon that provided the attending colleges the opportunity to speak to an audience of well over 100 4-H youth and their families.
Attitude of Gratitude was a weeklong event dedicated to conveying a message of gratitude to the multitudes of people that help 4-H’ers succeed at the
show and to sponsors who provide generous contributions to support the show. Corporate sponsors include Capital Farm Credit and Anderson Bean
Boot Company. Individual sponsors afforded the state show the opportunity to give out six custom saddles and over 160 custom belt buckles, along with many other awards to this year’s class champions and reserve champions.
Appreciation belt buckles were also given to select individuals who made significant contributions to the State 4-H Horse Show in the way of time,
commitment, and effort. This year’s recipients were former horse specialist Dr. Dennis Sigler and retired Erath county agent Doug Shores.
Adding to the educational aspect, Dr. Mike Martin, Texas A&M Associate Professor of Equine Field Services, along with his vet team of four 4th year vet students, conducted two educational Vet Talks for participants. Vet students included Whitley James, Armando Moya, Daphne Dodd, and Casie Watson. The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has been an active part of keeping horses healthy at the State 4-H Horse Show for many years.
The 2018 Texas State 4-H Horse Show will be held in Abilene, TX July 22nd-28th.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Maggie Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.