Mower County 4-H’ers compete at State Horse Show; Eight riders honor club member who died in September
Published 8:03 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017
ST. PAUL — Eight Mower County 4-H’ers competed in the 4-H State Horse Show this year and honored a fellow member who died in September.
Chris Fischer, who was entering ninth-grade at Austin High School, was scheduled to compete at the show for the first time. He died from complications after a cardiac arrest, according to his family.
The Mower County delegation included Tyson Anderson, Grace Bergstrom, Gretta Bergstrom, Naomi Dolton, Courtney Lammey, Chrystal Mullenbach, Shakana Quelle and Breanna Winfield.
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They encouraged each other to leave the ring at the State Horse Show with a smile because no matter how Fischer’s ride was, he would leave the arena with a smile.
This year, more than 600 youth from across the state participated in the annual event at the Minnesota State Fair from Sept. 14-18.
Mullenbach, of the Rough Riders, won the highest finish among Mower County riders when she took first in Trail Class, grades 10-11. She was second in Western Pony Pleasure equitation, all grades, and Pony Hunt Seat Pleasure equitation. She took third in Hunt Seat equitation, grade 10, Western Showmanship, grade 10, and Pony Western Horsemanship, all grades
In the grade 7 division, Gretta Bergstrom placed second in the jumping figure 8 racing, third in barrel racing, seventh in the key race, and eighth in pole racing.
Dolton of the Racine Ramblers, placed fourth in Western Horsemanship, grade 11, and eighth in Western Pleasure equitation, grade 11.
Lammey, of the Lyle Area Willing Workers, placed third in Western Pleasure equitation, grade 8, fourth in Western Horsemanship, grade 8, sixth in Hunt Seat Pleasure equitation, grade 8, and seventh in Western Showmanship, grade 8, and Trail Class, grades 8-9.
Quelle, of the Rough Riders, placed fifth in pole racing and 10th in barrel riding, grade 13 (one year past high school).
4-H’ers demonstrate their skills and knowledge in hippology (showing knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry), horse judging (study of an animal, measuring it against an accepted ideal), horse training and achievement, speech and demonstrations about interest in horses or the horse industry, showmanship and drill team skills.
“Through the Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show, youth build communications skills, gain deeper learning and interest in horses, and build relationships with caring adults,” said Renee Kostick, Extension Educator who manages the 4-H horse project in Minnesota. “These experiences contribute to their success in school, community, and futures.”
Youth who participate in the Minnesota 4-H Horse Project learn about show, trail and endurance riding; test their horse knowledge at quiz bowls or on judging teams, and study horse science. Youth may participate if they own or lease a horse.
There are even options for youth who are interested in horses, but don’t have access to one in their community.