Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships
Livestock Update, October 1997
Larry A. Lawrence, Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech
Virginia was represented by 42 horses and over 65 4-H members from around the state at the 1997 Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championships (SRC) in Perry, Geroria. The Event was held at the Georgia International Fairgrounds on August 4 - 7. The Southern Regional Event is unique to 13 member states from Texas to Virginia. Each state selects its 42 best representatives and their horses to compete for Regional Championships in Western, Hunter and Saddle Seat Divisions. In addition to the horse show there are communication contests and a judging contest that also award championships. Each participant represents over 93,000 horse projects in the 13 member states.
Virginia's Horse Judging Teams had a very successful SRC. Jason Haynes from Lee County won every division and the overall championship. He led his team to an overwhelming victory with the team winning the Placings, Reasons, and Overall awards. Team mate Sara Watson from Fauquier was the 2nd overall high individual, 2nd in placings and 4th in reasons. Kirsten Good also from Fauquier was 5th overall, 4th in placings and 5th in reasons. Amy Murphy from Hanover was 6th overall, 10th in placings and 8th in reasons. The second team was 3rd in team placings, 6th in reasons and 6th overall. Team members include: Dale DePriest from Wise, Nicole Long from Clark County, Kirsten Grzech from Fauquier and Gail Stone from Patrick County.
Virginia is always well represented at the SRC and 1997 was no exception. The Hunter Division is a strong Division for Virginia. Albemarle Counties' Jennifer Durbin won the High Point Championship in the Hunter Division. She placed 7th in Hunter In Hand, 7th in Hunter Under Saddle, 2nd in Equitation Over Fences, 1st in Working Hunter and Equitation Over Fences. The quality of Virginia horses was illustrated when the largest In Hand Class, Hunter Geldings was placed. Virginia horses took 7 of the top ten spots. Jennifer Bly (Culpeper Co.) was 1st in the class with her Thoroughbred The Final Word, Nikara Feasey from Albermarle Co. was 2nd, Andrea Van Gunst (Culpeper Co.) placed 3rd, Carman Smith of Petersburg was awarded 4th, Rachael Miller's (Orange Co.) Tiny Tim was 6th, Jennifer Durbin was 7th and Mary Anello from Crewe placed 9th with her horse Khadance Storm. Jennifer Smith from Williansburg placed 2nd in the Hunter In Hand Mares class with her Welch cross mare, 3rd place went to Whitney Gray (Culpeper) and her mare Carrots for the Governess and Hanover Counties' Ellen Miles placed 8th in the very competitive Hunter In Hand class. The Hunter Under Saddle class had 162 entries. Virginia was awarded an amazing 5 out of the top ten places. The class was led by Jennifer Bly in 1st , Nikara Feasey and Daybreak in Dixie were 3rd, Whitney Gray, Jennifer Durbin and Carman Smith placed 6th, 7th, and 8th, respectively. In addition to Jennifer Durbin's win with Direct Request in Hunt Seat Equitation, Nikara Feasey placed 3rd and Andrea Van Gunst placed 4th with Carefree. Virginia had 5 successsful riders place over a very challenging Working Hunter Course. In the Pony Working Hunter class, Jocelyn MacDonald (Fredericksburg) and Chambrey were 2nd, Melissa Raby from Dewitt placed 4th and Benjamin Dacey and Solotron from Chesterfield placed 9th. Megan Smoot from Culpeper placed 5th in Regular Working Hunter with Sam I Am. Eighty-two riders competed in Equitation Over Fences. Jennifer Durbin took 2nd, Nikara Feasey took 3rd, and Rachael Miller placed 9th.
Virginia's Saddle Seat Riders also performed well at the SRC. Lili Weik from Warrenton showed her Saddlebred, Dancing in the Moonlight, to a 1st in Saddle Type in Hand and a 10th in Showmanship. Robyn Longtain from Culpeper placed 4th in the In Hand class, 2nd in English Pleasure and 9th in Saddle Seat Equitation. Wythe Counties' Regan Sharitz rode her Tennessee Walking Horse, Rebel's Little Lady, to a win in Equitation and a 2nd in English Pleasure.
All of Virginia's participants are Champions. Almost 90 4-H members applied to go to the SRC. They were ranked according to their performance at the 1996 State 4-H Horse Show. The competition was fierce and all the participants were either Division Champions or Championship Class winners. Many outstanding performances were enjoyed by Virginia including numerous Semi-Finals Qualifiers. Congratulations go to Michelle Elliot from Chester, Catherine Butterworth of Dinwiddie, Justin Phillips from Chesterfield, Anne Biasiolli from Albemarle County, Amy Moore from Quinton, Gordon Shelton IV and Andrea Shelton from Chesterfield, Courtney Pfaff from Fauquier County, Annette Dodson from Madison, Kim Campbell of Roanoke, Stacie Long from Wilsons, J. D. Franklin from Chesterfield, Ross Kanner of Mechanicsville, Sandra Akers from Rural Retreat, Melanie Laylock from Williamsburg, Sarah Smith from Hanover County, Sarah Williams of Annandale, Karen Dennehy from Hanover County, Amy Plaster of Sanston, Heidi Banks of Richmond, H. B. Hunter from Concord, Julie Huff of Culpeper, Quentin Rana and Shelly Wise from Orange County.