'96 Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships
Held in VA
Livestock Update, September 1996
Larry A. Lawrence, Animal and Poultry Sciences
The Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships (SRC) has been an important component of the Virginia 4-H Horse Program for over 20 years. Yet until August 1-4, 1996 the event had never been held in Virginia. The 1996 SRC which rotates among the 13 member states was held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. The SRC is a classic all-breed championship involving 13 states including Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. Almost 360 4-H members brought horses to the event generating about 2300 entries in classes. An additional 200 4-H members were on hand to participate in horse judging contest, public speaking, team demonstrations and individual demonstrations.
For 4-H members qualifying for the SRC is like reaching the Olympics. The 600 participants represent 93,500 4-H horse project members in the 13 member states, all striving for excellence.
Competition within Virginia was fierce for the only 42 allotted spaces for horses from each state. One hundred and thirty-seven Virginia 4-Hers applied for 42 spots. Those that made the Virginia team represented our states best of the best and included grand champions, class champions and class winners and reserve champions selected from the over 200 classes at the State 4-H Horse Show during State Fair in Richmond.
Virginia 4-Hers did an outstanding job at the SRC. Some of the highlights include: Jennifer Parker's 6th place and Rachel Millers 9th place finish in Dressage. William Sturgill's 2nd place, Michelle Pearson's 6th place and Brandi Scruggs 7th place finish in Quarter Horse Mares. Erin Bradshaw finished 3rd in Quarter Horse Geldings. Jennifer Smith and Paula Kalinski placed 1st and 3rd respectively in Hunter Type Mares. Jennifer Parker, Katie Whitlock and Blair Costin finished 3rd, 4th and 5th in Hunter Type Geldings. Anna Carol Dantzler won the Saddle Type Mare Class. Michelle Pearson won the tremendously competitive Western Showmanship Class. Kimberly Campbell was third in Saddle Seat Showmanship. Jennifer Durbin placed 10th in Hunt Seat Showmanship. Heather Sue Moreland placed second in trail and seven in Western Horsemanship. In the games division, Thomas Morgan placed 5th in Pole Bending finals. In Saddle Seat English Pleasure, Virginia 4-Hers Anna Carol Dantzler, Robyn Longtain and Kimberly Campbell placed 4th, 8th and 9th respectively. Kimberly Campbell also placed 9th in Saddle Seat Trotting Equitation. Regan Sharitz was Champion Saddle Seat English Pleasure Non-Trotting Rider. Regan was also second in Equitation. Virginia is always strong in the hunter classes and this year was no exception. In the Hunter Under Saddle Finals Jennifer Bly, Katie Whitlock, Kristin Grzech and Rebecca Harper placed 3rd, 7th, 8th and 10th. Jennifer Bly also placed 10th in Equitation on the Flat. Pony Working Hunter 14.2 and under riders Jennifer Smith, Rebecca Harper, Hunter Jenkins, and Kristin Grzech placed 4th, 6th, 7th and 9th respectively. Cassie Brookman placed 2nd and Kristen Brew placed 10th in Working Hunter Over 14.2 hands. Rachel Miller won the Equitation over Fences Final. Jennifer Durbin placed 5th and Jennifer Parker placed sixth in Open Jumping.
In the Horse Judging Contest, the Virginia team of Jayson Haynes, Kristen Good, Amy Murphy and Sara Watson placed 4th overall. Virginia's second team made up of all first year members placed 11th. This rapidly developing team is composed of Nikara Feasey, Crystal Hall, Jennifer Durbin, and Nicole Long. Virginia placed 7th in reasons and 4th and 5th in placing scores. Both teams look forward to going on to Arabian Nationals in October.
Virginia also had excellent representation in the communication contest with Lori Kovatch and Rachel Reynolds placing 1st and Staunton Binsted and Rachel McMahan placing 3rd in Team Demonstration.
Virginia 4-H members, leaders, volunteers, show staff and supporters have much to be proud of after a successful Southern Regional 4-H Championship Event. There were many compliments including the overwhelming response to the Virginia Horse Center. Many of the first time visitors stated it was the best horse show facility in the country. The show staff also received numerous compliments on the way the show was run. Everyone involved in the Southern Regionals Event owes a debt of gratitude for the sponsors that made the event possible. The following sponsors deserve special recognition for their part in this outstanding event:
Visit Virginia Cooperative Extension