Kodiak 4-H does well at horse contest

Kodiak 4-H Emerald Isle equestrian judging champions: Annie Nelson, left, Etta Nelson, Stephanie McEntee and Amanda Blott. (Photo courtesy of Sue Blott)

Kodiak hosted the fifth annual Alaska 4-H horse contest April 15 and 16 with more than 40 youth from the Kodiak, Southeast, Mat-Su, Kenai and Tanana districts. They competed in horse judging, horse bowl, demonstrations, public speaking and hippology.

Kodiak’s Emerald Isle Equestrians team of Stephanie McEntee, Etta Nelson, Amanda Blott and Annie Nelson placed first out of the five teams competing. Blott and Tatiana Schneider placed first and third in intermediate individual judging. McEntee placed first individually at the senior level. Blott won as horse judging oral reason champion and horse judging overall champion.

Kodiak’s 4-H club also held its first hippology contest at Kodiak High School April 15. Participants took a written test of 50 questions consisting of 10 slides, then rotated around 10 stations answering questions. Finally, they collaborated as a team about a problem with 10 minutes to work out a solution that they presented to a judge. The Emerald Isle Equestrian team of Etta Nelson, Blott, Annie Nelson and Schneider placed third overall. They placed second in the team problem. In individual stations, McEntee took first place and Blott took second.

Demonstrations, public speaking and horse bowl segments were held at KHS April 16. Sydney Mutch took first place in public speaking reciting a horse poem. Etta and Annie Nelson placed first with their team demonstration, “Sick and Twisted.” Blott placed second with her individual demonstration, “Does This Saddle Make My Butt Look Big?”

The next event, the horse bowl, is a knowledge contest with buzzers. Each round consists of 36 questions with some answered individually and others open for the team to answer. Kodiak’s Emerald Isle Equestrian team placed second overall. Individual high point-makers were McEntee and Annie Nelson.

The weekend ended with a clinic by Laurie Knuutila, a judge from Fairbanks, discussing competitive trail riding and saddle fitting. The youth then moved to a local barn where they applied their new saddle fitting knowledge on an actual horse.

Because of the top awards earned by the Emerald Isle Equestrian team, they now have been invited to compete on a national level both individually and as a group. They will choose from seven different competitions that take place across the nation either this fall or this winter.

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