LOGAN — Hocking County’s Horse Team members Isee Beiter, Avery Dicken, Olivia Kerns, Hailey Kidwell, Andrea Klingelhafer, Stacey McKnight, Brenna Schleup, Abigail Smith, and Allori Wolfe did an outstanding job representing their county at the annual State Horse Judging and Hippology competition despite having to adhere to COVID-19 imposed restrictions.
As the coronavirus wraps itself like a wreath around our world, it continues to change our daily lives in ways we never thought were possible. State 4-H Horse competitions, like the Horse Bowl and Communications were both revamped to a virtual format during the pandemic, as was the most recent event, the State Horse Judging and Hippology events in June.
Historically, competing teams would gather from all over the state to face down each other during the day-long event. However, quick technical handiwork, on the part of the Ohio State University Extension in Columbus reformatted the event to a virtual competition instead.
Instead of competing at a public venue with parents, advisors and each other for support, contestants sat alone in front of the devices. The contrast was stark!
Despite the adversity and technical glitches, Hocking’s teams proved their horse knowledge strengths once again on the state level.
In Horse Judging, youth learn to evaluate a horse's form as it relates to function, and compare it to the ideal as well as to other horses. The added benefit is that it gives youth the opportunity to sharpen their decision making skills and their ability to defend those decisions with oral reasons.
This year Hocking’s senior team consisted of Stacey McKnight, Andrea Klingelhafer, Hailey Kidwell, and Isee Beiter, with senior Allori Wolfe rounding out the Fairfield County B Team.
Abigail Smith, Brenna Schleup and Avery Dicken made up the Hocking County Junior Team.
The Hocking Senior Team walked away with first place high team overall, having placed first in High Team Overall Halter; High Team Overall Performance; and High Team Reasons.
The Hocking Junior Team placed third in High Team Overall, after placing first in High Team Overall Halter; sixth in High Team Overall Performance and second in High Team Reasons.
Individuals in both the Senior and Junior teams did extremely well during both competitions with Senior High Individual Overall in Horse Judging going to Stacey McKnight, first place and Andrea Klingelhafer, third.
Junior High Individual Overall awards went to Brenna Schleup with third place, and Abigail Smith, fourth.
High Individual Overall Senior placings in Halter went to Stacey McKnight, first; Hailey Kidwell, fourth; and Andrea Klingelhafer, fifth: Performance — Stacey McKnight, first; Isee Beiter, second; Andrea Klingelhafer, fourth; and Allori Wolfe, fifth. Reasons — Stacey McKnight, first; Hailey Kidwell, second; and Andrea Klingelhafer, fourth.
High Individual Overall Junior awards were awarded as follows: Halter — Brenna Schleup, third; Avery Dicken, fifth; and Abigail Smith, sixth. Performance — Brenna Schleup, sixth; and Abigail Smith, ninth. Reasons — Abigail Smith, second; and Brenna Schleup, seventh.
While Horse Judging is pretty much a self-described event, Hippology might bear a little more explanation. The term "Hippology" comes from the Greek term "hippo", meaning horse, and "ology", meaning "the study of".
Hippology is an activity that can enhance learning for 4-H equine members by letting them demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a competitive setting. This is an opportunity for teams and individuals to exhibit their knowledge of anatomy, physiology and health needs of horses. This training goes beyond the outer physical appearance of the horse into the biological functions that enable the physical processes.
In the Hippology portion of this event participants also demonstrate the experience and knowledge they have gained in the two competitions held earlier in the year, the State Horse Bowl and Communications contests.
Holding true to form, Hocking County’s Senior and Junior Teams both walked away with the Hippology Overall first place ranking in their respective divisions.
The Senior Teams Overall award came after first placing second in Exam; third in Stations; seventh in Judging; and third in Team Problem.
Likewise, the Junior Team Overall award was preceded by placing first in Exam and Stations; fourth in Judging; and eighth in Team Problem.
Hippology Senior Individual Overall went to Stacey Mcknight, first; and Andrea Klingelhafer, fourth, while Hippology Junior Individual Overall went to Brenna Schleup with third; and Abigail Smith, seventh.
Senior Hippology Individuals ranked as follows: Exam — Stacey McKnight, first and Andrea Klingelhafer, sixth. Stations — Stacey McKnight, first and Andrea Klingelhafer, sixth. and Judging — Stacey McKnight, seventh.
Junior Hippology Individual placings were as follows: Exam — Brenna Schleup, fourth; Abigail Smith, seventh; and Avery Dicken, ninth. Stations — Abigail Smith, seventh. Judging — Brenna Schleup, second.
"The youth on this team continue to amaze me year after year with their dedication and commitment to being the best they can be. I enjoy helping them develop into well rounded individuals and look forward to watching them continue to chase their dreams in the future. I am blessed to work with such great kids and their families,” Amanda Thompson, Horse Team lead coach, commented with pride.
In Junior Horse Halter Judging, Hocking girls place in the top 20 as follows in the High Individual Overall: Abigail Smith, Hocking A, third, Ashlyn Mathias Hocking B, fifth, Andrea Klingelhafer Hocking A, 11th, Kayle Bond, Hocking A, 13th, Avery Dicken Hocking B, 16th, and Olivia Kerns, Jefferson B, 18th.
In the Senior High Individual Reasons category, Hailey Kidwell placed third and Stacey McKnight, eighth; High Individual Overall Performance Hailey Kidwell, second and Stacey McKnight, 17th; and High Individual Overall Halter Hailey Kidwell, fifth place and Stacey McKnight, ninth.
Junior team members followed suit with Hocking girls placing well in all categories as follows: High Overall Individual Halter Allori Wolfe, Hocking B, third; and Abi Smith, Hocking A, eighth; High Individual Performance first, Kayle Bond, Hocking A, second, Andrea Klingelhafer, Hocking A, fifth, Ashlyn Mathias, Hocking B, 11th, Abigail Smith, Hocking A , 14th, Isee Beiter, Hocking A, and 15th, Avery Dicken, Hocking B and High Individual Reasons sixth, Allori Wolfe, Hocking B, 12th, Andrea Klingelhafer, Hocking A, and 20th, Kayle Bond, Hocking A.
In the overall rankings the seniors team, consisting of Chrissy Robers, Hailey Kidwell and Stacey McKnight gained the fourth place High Team Overall standing along with sixth place in High Team Overall Performance, and a fourth place in High Team Overall Halter.
The junior team continued to make its mark on the state judging event with the Hocking A made up of Andrea Klingelhafer, Kayle Bond, Abigail Smith, and Isee Beiter claiming first, with the Hocking B team, including Allori Wolfe, Ashlyn Mathias, Avery Dicken and Honesty Brandon winning second. Olivia Kerns, Jefferson B team took 11th in High Team Junior Overall.
The Hocking A, Hocking B, and Jefferson B teams additional wins included: High Team Overall Performance first, Hocking A, seventh, Hocking B, and eighth, Jefferson B; High Team Overall Halter third place Hocking B, ninth place Hocking A, and 16th, Jefferson; High Team Reasons third, Hocking A, fourth, Hocking B, 13th, Jefferson B.