COURT HOUSE - Cape May County 4-H Horse Club members competed recently in the State 4-H Championship Horse Show held Aug. 23-25 at the Horse Park of New Jersey.
According to a release, this is an annual event involving 4-H representatives from throughout the state competing in the English, Western, Dressage, Very Small Equine, Therapeutic, and Game divisions.
Over 125 4-H members took to the ring to be judged on their riding ability, their horse’s performance or their showmanship skills.
The competition was high as each county had sent the best three riders in the classes offered at the State 4-H Horse Show.
All participating counties must hold a series of qualifying shows for members to earn the right to participate in this prestigious event. All riders and their mounts were highly skilled, making this competition strong and challenging. The riders and their horses were the best of the best in 4-H.
This year, Cape May County riders took top championship honors in three separate events.
Mackenzie Doughty, of Star Hollow 4-H Club, captured Grand Champion in Hunter Hack Horse and Reserve Champion in Working Hunter-Horse. Elise Heim, of Shore Blazers 4-H club, took Grand Champion in English Halter.
Doughty finished sixth in Hunter Under Saddle-Senior Hunter Type, ninth in Equitation over Fences – Senior, and 10th in Senior English Showmanship and Grooming.
Heim finished fourth in Hunter Hack Horse, fourth in Hunter Under Saddle-Senior Hunter Type, and fifth in Handy Working Hunter Horse.
Other Cape May County 4-H horse club entrants included Kathleen DeGenova, of the Wranglers 4-H club, who placed fourth in Dressage-Training Level and seventh in Dressage Equitation Senior.
Robbie Elwell, of Shore Blazers 4-H club, placed fourth in Dressage-combined Intro Training, sixth in English Halter and ninth in English Pleasure Horse Senior.
Devin Mathis, Star Hollow 4-H club, who finished ninth in English Pleasure Horse Junior.
Caitlyn Martindale, Whinny Pigs 4-H club who placed eighth in Senior Western Pleasure Horse and 10th in Senior Western Horsemanship.
Elizabeth Schalick, Whinny Pigs 4-H club, who finished third in Senior Western Pleasure Horse, eighth in English Pleasure Horse-Senior, and ninth in Senior Western Horsemanship.
In addition to horse show competition, Mina LaFrance competed in the New Jersey State 4-H Equestrian of the Year Contest as Cape May County’s representative. LaFrance, Cape May County's 4-H Equestrian of the Year and a Senior Outstanding 4-H member, is a member of the Star Hollow Riders 4-H Club.
“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of the 4-H members from our county. The opportunity to participate in the State 4-H Championship Horse Show provided an excellent opportunity for 4-H members to compete at an advanced level, expand their equine skills, enhance a variety of life skills, and meet 4-H members from throughout New Jersey,” stated Linda Horner, Cape May County 4-H program coordinator.
The State 4-H Championship Horse Show is sponsored in part by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board as well as by businesses and individuals from throughout the state.