HARRISBURG – From October 27-30, exhibitors of Clinton County 4-H horses from The Mane Attraction horse club and one from the Susquehanna Haybalers club traveled to Harrisburg to compete in the state’s 4-H competition at the Farm Show complex.
These nine riders had previously placed and scored at the regional equestrian event held on the Grange fairgrounds in July, allowing them to advance to the state level.
In Harrisburg, all nine competitors placed in the top 10 in the state for their events, with two of those runners taking first place. The 10 different competition categories featured 82 separate events that took place over a four-day period, with two active rings each day – and some classes with up to 32 entries.
This required most riders to wake up before dawn to groom their horse, shine their tack, then put on their riding clothes and warm up their horse before entering the ring. The amount of tack, feed and other equipment needed by the horses in the group was so great that it took up three full 10’x10′ stalls.
Lauren Johnson brought home the champion ribbon in the Beginner English Equitation class. This class is judged on the rider, including the accuracy of their seat, hands, legs, and the rider’s ability to communicate clearly with their horse. Lauren is in her third year of the 4-H horse program and is renting the horse she is competing with.
Evan Dubbs was ranked Western Ranch Riding Champion. In this class, the rider must lead the horse to reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working ranch horse. The horse’s performance must simulate riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch horse.
Evan has been with the 4-H horse program for eight years and overcame the loss of a horse and a bout of COVID, to finally ribbon in the States this year. He also placed in the top five in Western Grooming and Showmanship.
The other members of the club who placed in the state finals are:
Abby Simcox — Top 5 EWD Showmanship, EWD Equitation and EWD Trail
Addy Gilmore – Top 10 Breed Type Hunters Under Saddle
Baylyn Mantle – Top 5 Keyhole, Top 10 Pole Bending
Gage Scanlan – Top 5 English Pleasures for Beginners
Grace Moore — Top 10 English Pleasures for Beginners
Phaedra Bower – Top 5 saddle pleasures
Piper Harmon – Top 5 EWD Showmanship and EWD Trail, Top 10 EWD Horse Riding
Reba Young – Top 10 Keyholes
This achievement is unprecedented, particularly for a small rural club, and is bolstered by the volunteerism of several parents and the participant community, many of whom came to the event to support and encourage other club members who had achieved the state level.
“I believe they all had a personal best at this show,” 4-H organizational leader Sarina Bower said.
Each of the nine competitors put in hundreds of hours of hard work and practice to earn their placement and develop their skills and knowledge to where they are today. At their monthly 4-H meetings, they learn everything from animal husbandry (including nutrition, grooming, and basic first aid), to repairing fences, building jumps with skills in carpentry and reassembly of a deconstructed flange. These are fundamental skills to support horse care and are just as important as the member’s riding skills.
The 4-H year runs from October to September. New members ages 8-18 can join anytime through March.
There are club opportunities for members who own their own horse, rent or share a horse, or even those who don’t own a horse.
For more information, contact Clinton County 4-H Educator Christine Showers at 570-726-0022.