Louisa High School and Louisa Middle School FFA and 4-H members participated in the EquiSmartz State 4-H Educational Contest in Lexington on March 21 and 22.
Louisa High School students Chelsea Bickley, Amber Brookman and Kristin Seay, as well as, Louisa Middle School students Laura Turner, Sarah Seay and Loren Smith competed as 4-H members in the Hippology contest on Friday. This four phase contest consists of an examination phase includes:
• A written examination and slide identification assessing student knowledge of breed, color, color patterns, activity, proper appointments and anatomy, which may include external, skeletal internal organs, parts of gastrointestinal tract, male and female reproductive organs, detailed anatomy of the foot and detailed anatomy of the lower limbs.
• A station phase assessing student knowledge of equine tools and equipment, grains and forages, internal and external parasites, blemishes and unsoundnesses, tooth-based aging, horse health and measurements.
• A judging phase in which contestants judge horse classes based on balance, confirmation, muscling, quality and breed and sex characteristics.
• A team problem that demonstrates knowledge in horse management and production.
Louisa students who placed well in the event include:
Loren Smith, LCMS, Louisa 4H, placed 13th in the 4-H Junior Division
Chelsea Bickley, LCHS, 4-H Fluvanna Colts and Fillies Club, placed 5th in the Senior 4-H Division
Abbey Stickland, LCHS, 4-H Fluvanna Colts and Fillies Club, placed 1st in the Senior 4-H Division
The State Horse Judging contest! was held the following day and Louisa High School students Chelsea Bickley, Amber Brookman, Kristin Seay and Courtney Whisenant competed as 4-H and FFA members, as well as, Louisa Middle School students Sarah Seay, Loren Smith, Austin Miller and Brian Kennedy (Team A). An additional team of Louisa Middle School students included Austin Shifflett, Nicole Harlow and Laura Turner (Team B). Student judged horse classes based on balance, confirmation, muscling, quality and breed and sex characteristics. In addition, students are required to give a brief oral defense of their placings to a judge. Students must judge both halter in hand classes as well as performance classes such as western pleasure, hunter under saddle, and equitation.
As members of the horse judging team, students gain knowledge regarding horse selection and evaluation, as well as build critical thinking and public speaking skills.