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The primary objective of the Hippology Contest is to provide in a friendly but competitive setting, an opportunity for youth enrolled in a 4-H horse project to demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge and understanding of equine science, and in particular the practical application of this knowledge and skill.

Youth advance to the state competition by placing in the top of their regional contest.

The Contest

  • A.    Examination - 100 points.
    • This phase may include a written exam and slides exam.  (example topics for slide exams include:  breed, color, activity, appointments, internal and external anatomy including reproductive anatomy, etc.) The written exam is mandatory at all regional contests.  Slide exam at regionals is option.  State contest will include both written & slide exams.
  • B.    Stations - 100 points.
    • Contestants may be asked to identify tack and equipment, feed samples and other horse-related items. Contestants may be requested to demonstrate knowledge of the external anatomy of equine, skeletal anatomy, internal anatomy, disease, and the life cycles of internal parasites.  Knowledge of breeds, breed history, color, color patterns and equine activities may be tested.  Contestants will have two minutes to complete each station.(mandatory phase at both regionals & state).  Regional stations may be shown as powerpoint or in traditional hard copy format.
  • C.    Judging - 100 points.
    • Four classes will be placed.  Classes may be comprised of pictures, video recordings, models or live classes.(optional phase at regionals, mandatory phase at the state contest).
  • D.    Problem Solving – 25 points
    • Intermediate and Senior divisions presented to each contestant at the end of the stations phase. A situational question will be posed to each contestant on a one-on-one basis.  The contestant will have 3 -5 minutes total (depending on the problem) to think about and verbally respond to the question.  Evaluation will be based on the understanding of the problem, completeness of the logic used in making the oral response and general speaking skills. The official may ask questions to clarify the response. The score for intermediates are not included in placing tabulation, however if they fail to do the oral problem phase 25 points will be subtracted from their total score during tabulation resulting in a significant negative effect on their placing.  (optional phase at regionals, mandatory phase at the state contest).

Youth with an interest and knowledge in horses won’t want to miss a chance to enter the regional Horse Bowl and Horse Hippology Contests. Registration deadline is close, so contact the office if you’re interested. Junior teams include 4-H members age 8 to 13. Senior teams are 14 and older as of Jan. 1, 2018. Qualifying teams and individuals will advance to the State contests to be held April 21 in Champaign.

Hippology is a comprehensive 4-H horse education contest including live horse judging, skillathon stations, and written test and slides. Participants do not need to have horses or be enrolled in the horse project to participate.


April 14 at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Contact Elizabeth Miller, lizmill@illinois.edu, (618) 548-1446


March 17 at Marengo High School, 110 Franks Rd., Marengo. Contact Michele Aavang, maavang@illinois.edu (815) 338-3737


March 24 at DeKalb County Farm Burea, 1350 W. Prairie Dr., Sycamore. Contact Nicole Groezinger, groezing@illinois.edu, (815) 758-8194


April 7 at Church of the Nazarene, Casey. Contact Jessie Crews, jcrews@illinois.edu (217) 826-5422


Open to 4-H Members 8 to 18 years of age as of September 1, 2018. Junior Division: (8 to 11), Intermediate Division: (12 to 14), Senior Division: (15 to 18)

Required Document

Binary Data

Contact for More Information:

Extension Equine Specialist
Debra Hagstrom
Extension 4-H Animal Science Specialist
Dan Jennings
Photo of Hippology winners

Event Information

Apr 21, 2018

Registration Deadline:

February 17, 2018