Yalobusha 4-Hers Excel At State Horse Show
By Steve Cummings
I’ve been to 28 state 4-H horse shows while employed with the Yalobusha County Extension Service. Each one has been special in its own way, and the Yalobusha County 4-H Horse Club has been quite successful throughout the years. However, this year’s 29th annual State 4-H Horse Show that was held last week was, without a doubt, the most eventful and perhaps the most successful.
Twelve 4-Hers, their families, and a host of friends and supporters journeyed to Jackson with several goals in mind: to do their best, win or place in their contest/class, and represent Yalobusha County well. The ultimate goal for most was to qualify at least one of the 42 horses to represent Mississippi in the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Show to be held in Virginia around the first of August.
The State 4-H Horse Show starts with several non-riding contests. Junior 4-Hers had to qualify at the district show in order to compete at the state level. Breanna Scroggins qualified in 4-H Horse Public Speaking, a contest where they give a public speech on something horse related. Breanna placed 4th in the state contest.
The junior 4-H Horse Bowl team consisted of Breanna Scroggins, Tyler Epes, Shade Epes, Liz Roark, and Casey Moss. This team pulled an upset and won first place at the district 4-H Horse Show. They gave a gallant effort at the State 4-H Horse Show, but failed to make the final placings.
The Senior Hippology team which consisted of Casey Byford, Delta Gill, Haley Smith, and Shae Ward placed fourth in the State.
There is also a 4-H Horse Photography contest and a 4-H Horse Art contest. The top five entries in each category qualified at the district show for State, and Yalobusha County had several. Casey Moss won first place with her junior sculpture, and Shae Ward won first place in the Senior Mixed Altered Media category. Shae also picked up a second place and a couple of third places.
One of the biggest wins of the entire State 4-H Horse Show came when Tyler Epes’ photograph of her horse’s eye was selected as the “Best Overall Junior 4-H Horse Photograph” of the 2008 State 4-H Horse Show. Tyler’s photograph will hang in display at the Mississippi State University Veterinary School until the 2009 State Show. If you are ever in the Vet School, make an effort to see Tyler’s winning picture.
Like I said earlier, this was my 29th State 4-H Horse Show and this was definitely the best Yalobusha County has ever done, especially in the halter classes. This was a very good surprise as most of these horses do not compete in halter. Trophies are given to the top three in each class. Therefore, I will only mention the top three placings at this time. After winning first place in Grade Western 4-year & older mares, Casey Moss’ mare, Jo-Jo, was named Grand Champion Grade Western Mare. Casey Byford’s mare also won the Grade Western Broodmare class. Liz Roark took top honors in the Registered Quarter Horse Broodmare class with a first place win. Yalobusha County’s other first place halter winner was Shae Ward in Open Miniature Geldings. J.W. Pipkin picked up a second place in Gaited Halter Geldings. Casey Byford picked up a third place in both Registered Paint Mares and Grade Western Geldings, and Shae Ward also picked up a third in Gaited Mares. These wins played a big part in qualifying for the 2008 Regional 4-H Horse Show.
Yalobusha County excelled in the gaited classes, as expected. Shae Ward picked up two 1st’s, a 2nd, 2 4th’s, and 2 6th’s. J.W. Pipkin picked up two 2nd’s, two 3rd’s, and a 5th. Breanna Scroggins picked up a 5th, two 6th’s, and a 7th.
Qualifying in one of the 42 regional slots is every 4-H Horse Exhibitor’s goal. Yalobusha County’s regional qualifiers began early in the show on Thursday as Casey Moss qualified as one of the high point English horses. Early on Friday, J.W. Pipkin added to Yalobusha’s qualifying list as he won one of two automatic spots given to gaited horses. The qualifying gates opened up for Yalobusha County on Friday night as Shae Ward qualified three horses on points, and Casey Byford qualified two horses on points as well. The final days of qualifying seem to be a lot harder, as Haley Smith had to wait for the 42nd qualifying slot to hear her name called. Overall, Yalobusha County qualified a record of five 4-Hers and eight horses for the regional 4-H show.
Another highlight of the show was the team pinning consisting of Delta Gill, Breanna Scroggins and Haley Smith placing 8th out of 64 teams. Other placings included Liz Roark – 9th & 12th; Carley Little – 9th; Haley Smith – 5th & two 6th’s; Breanna Scroggins – 7th & 11th; Shae Ward – 10th & two 11th’s ; Casey Byford – three 10th’s; and Casey Moss – 3rd, 4th, 5th, two 8th’s, two 9th’s, & 12th. Hayden Harbour and Delta Gill fell just short of the placings, but represented us well.
With all of these placings there had to be high point winners. Casey Moss was the third high point junior exhibitor and Shae Ward was the fourth high point senior exhibitor. The final recognition was the high point counties, and Yalobusha County was the third high point county in the state. This is a testament to the 4-Hers, their families, and volunteers.
The trip to Virginia will be an expensive one, especially with this many attending, so I am sure there will be some last minute fundraisers. Please help support these winners if given the opportunity.
Also, this Friday night, July 20th, there will be a timed event horse show. All ten of these 4-Hers will be participating.
On July 26th at 3 pm there will be a judged horse show followed by a timed event horse show at 8 pm. In between the shows there will be a dedication of the Cody Byford Memorial Award. Many of you will want to come to that, as most of you have seen the horse mural at the Multipurpose Building painted by local artist, Pat Rodrigue. It has been almost complete for a while now, but will be officially dedicated on July 29th. We hope to see you there.