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Virginia Cooperative Extension -
 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

State 4-H Horse Judging Contest

Livestock Update, April 2003

Mark L. Wahlberg, Extension Animal Scientist, 4-H Livestock VA Tech

Rockingham County Fairgrounds
Harrisonburg, VA
Saturday, May 3, 2003

The 2003 State 4-H Horse Judging Contest will be held on Saturday, May 3 at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg, Virginia. There will be no limit on the number of contestants per unit. However, "...a county contest, clinic, or organized training session to properly prepare contestants to judge and give reasons... is required". 4-Hers meeting the age and training requirement are eligible to compete in the State 4-H Horse Judging Contest.

Individuals 19 years of age or older before January 1st of current year are ineligible. Junior contestants likewise must turn 9 years of age during the 4-H year (before January 1st). Senior contestants are those 14 years of age or older before January 1st and junior contestants are under 14 years of age as of January lst. This age eligibility conforms to the National 4-H Rules and Regulations.

*** New this year***
Senior Novice Division - This new division for seniors is being included to provide a starting ground for seniors new to 4-H or horse judging who may not be comfortable with giving oral reasons. ANY prior competition in the VA State 4-H Horse Judging Contest (or other state contest) will disqualify a 4-Her from the Novice division. Competing in one smaller contest such as the Block and Bridle Contest does not disqualify the 4-Her from the novice division if the 4-Her is still in their very first year of participation.

Senior 4-Hers in their FIRST YEAR OF COMPETITION AT THE STATE CONTEST may enter the Novice division, which is characterized by not requiring 4-Hers to give reasons. Novice competitors will be entered as INDIVIDUALS ONLY and not be a part of a team score in the senior division. 4-Hers who chose to compete in this division will be eligible for individual awards based on their placings only and a separate division of awards will be provided for this group. Competitors in the novice division will not qualify for the State team to compete nationally since reasons are required at all national contests for the VA State team. Awards will extend through the top 10 individuals in the Senior Novice division with scores compiled from all class placings with no division between halter or performance divisions.

Please enter by mail by April 22nd. Entry forms for contestants and adults can be obtained from this website

Lunch is required of all senior contestants ($6.00 each). This is payable at registration the morning of the contest. If paying by pre-drawn check, please make payable to Virginia 4-H Foundation. An optional activity for juniors is to give 1 set of oral reasons. The top 10 junior reasons will be provided awards. Juniors giving reasons will also be required to eat lunch at the middle school just as the senior contestants, for the same price. All contestants not giving reasons and all coaches must eat off the grounds (there are fast food restaurants in the area). A reasons clinic for senior novice entries and coaches may be offered after lunch; if there is sufficient interest and a facility is available.

See attached hotel list for lodging. Also attached is a tentative schedule with possible classes.

The State Horse Judging Team will consist of top-placing senior individuals in the state contest. The top individuals will be required to attend training sessions during the summer. Members who have competed in the Horse Judging Contest at the National 4H Horse Round Up in Louisville are not eligible to compete in 4H Horse Judging events.

For additional information please contact Dr. Mark Wahlberg (540/ 231-9161,

Rockingham County Fairgrounds
Saturday, May 3, 2003
Harrisonburg, Virginia

7:30 - 8:15 am Registration-All coaches should report to the registration desk located in the barn office and confirm their entries and pick up their judging packs and materials, pay for lunches.

7:50 am Official judges, group leaders and committee chairmen will have a short meeting located in the conference room of the fairgrounds.

8:30 - 8:45 am Welcome, Introductions and Contest Orientation- Arena

8:45 - 10:00 am Possible Halter and In Hand Classes (15 min. per class)

Saddlebred Stock Horses
Morgan Hunter Ponies
Quarter Horse Hunter-in-Hand
Appaloosa Arabian
Walking Horse Plantation Horses
Draft Horse Spotted Saddle
Miniature Horses Racking Horses
Ponies of America Mountain Pleasure Horses

10:15 - 11:30 Performance Classes (12 min. per class)
English Pleasure Driving
Western Pleasure Country English Pleasure
Hunter Under Saddle Reining
Hunter Pleasure Hunter Hack
Horsemanship Equitation (Reasons in any equitation)
Racking Walking Horse
Plantation Pleasure Mountain Pleasure
Spotted Saddle Horse

11:30 pm Juniors, coaches, adults - Lunch on your own. Do not return to the reason facility until 3:30 pm. NOTE: Juniors giving optional set of reasons go with senior contestants. Senior contestants and Guest teams - stay with group leaders for lunch and travel to reasons facility ($6.00 per person collected at registration). Everyone else - lunch on your own.

1:00 - 3:30 PM Presentation of oral reasons - Wilber S. Pence Middle, Dayton, VA Juniors (Optional), Seniors & Guest Teams - stay with group leaders

2:00 PM Junior reasons conclude

3:30-to finish Official Placings, Review of Classes, Official Judges and Presentation of Awards - Wilber Pence Middle School, Dayton, VA All Contestants and Guests will start immediately following the conclusion of senior reasons

NOTE: Contestants must provide their own pencils and note pads. Contestants may not take any written materials, handbooks, etc. into the contest except for blank note pads for reasons.

Harrisonburg Motels located off of I-81 Exit 243

Belle Meade Red Carpet Inn
US 11 South
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 434-6704
The Rockingham Motel
4035 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 433-2538
Holiday Inn Express
3325 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 433-9999
Super 8 Motel
3330 South Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 433-8888
Ramada Inn
US 11 South
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 434-9981
The Village Inn
US 11 South
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 434-7355
(Located just 1-1/2 miles south of exit and across from the fairgrounds. Has a great breakfast buffet.)

Harrisonburg Motels located off of I-81 Exit 247

Comfort Inn
1440 E. Market Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 433-6066
Hampton Inn
85 University Boulevard
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
1703 East Market Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 433-2576
Motel 6
US 33 East
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
(540) 433-6939

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