Kane County holds on to win 4-H Horse Bowl
4-H members from DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties, who took top honors in several divisions of the Northeast Regional 4-H Hippology and Horse Bowl Competition in March, went on to the state contest April 14 at the University of Illinois.
All of 4-H youth studied hard, worked together and demonstrated passion at the 2019 Illinois 4-H State Horse Bowl Contest. The Kane County seniors and Kendall County juniors each took top honors.
The win was eight months in the making. Last September, four Kane County 4-H members began meeting weekly to begin a new year of preparation for the competitive Horse Bowl program in Illinois 4-H.
In January, they turned up the heat in their training, meeting two to three times weekly. Even the day of the state contest, Coach Sandy Klinkey quizzed the girls during lunch and between rounds. The hard work paid off when the team was named champion of the senior division of the 2019 Illinois 4-H State Horse Bowl Contest held April 14 in Urbana.
Members of the winning team are Gwen Klinkey, Elizabeth Melton, Ella Melei, and Alex Garcia.
Klinkey was also the high individual point winner of the senior contest. She plans to attend Millikin University in Decatur in the fall, studying literature and biology. She said studying for the horse bowl improves her knowledge in science that will help her in college.
The Kane County 4-H Club was challenged by a team of 4-H members from Logan and Tazewell counties who finished three points behind the winners.
Carroll and Whiteside counties combined for third place in the senior division, and a team of Southern Illinois 4-H members from Union, Massac, Pope, and Hardin counties finished in fourth.
In addition to Klinkey, other top 10 finishers in senior division include Ruthie Ruhl of Logan County, second; Olivia Charles of Carroll County, third; Tea Thomas of Whiteside County, fourth; Elizabeth Melton of Kane County, fifth; Audrey DeRossett of Union County, sixth; Audrey Aberle of Tazewell County, seventh; Katie Hoffman of Carroll County, eighth; David Morrow of Logan County, ninth; and Avie Counts of Pope-Hardin County, 10th.
In the junior division, a team of Kendall County 4-H members are champions, follow by Knox County in second, Carroll and Whiteside counties in third, DuPage County in fourth, and Monroe County in fifth. The Kendall team includes Michaela Persico, Karrington Kirby, Sara Buss, and Kailey Wietting. Michaela earned the high point individual award as well.
Other top 10 finishers in the junior division include Talisa Thomas of Whiteside County, second; Sara Buss of Kendall County, third; Ellis Rogers of Knox County, fourth; Bridget Weyer of DuPage County, fifth; Maya Woodard of Monroe County, sixth; Kristy Morrow of Logan County, seventh; Ravinia Zillmer of DuPage County, eighth; Grant Alexander of Knox County, ninth; and Emily Conlee of Knox County, 10th.
The top finishers will compete in the national 4-H contest in the fall with the support of the Illinois 4-H Foundation.
Horse quiz bowls operate much in the same fashion as school academic quiz bowls with teams of youth answering a series of questions as quickly and accurately as possible. The questions can come from all fields of the equine industry. Teams advanced to state through regional championships.
"The primary objective of these contests is to provide an opportunity for youth to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail," said Debra Hagstrom, University of Illinois Extension equine specialist.
Young people with a passion for horses can participate in 4-H educational contests related to the equine industry regardless of whether they even own a horse, said Hagstrom. These educational programs enhance members' knowledge of horse health, breed characteristics, management, and feeding.
For more information on the 4-H program in your county, visit go.illinois.edu/extensiondkk.