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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, 2017. Qualifying teams and individuals will advance to the State contests to be held April 29 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.


March 25 @ SIU-C College of Agricultural Sciences Building, 1205 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale. Check in @ 8 AM. Hippology begins @ 8:45 AM. Horse Bowl to follow at the conclusion of Hippology. Contact Liz Miller @ lizmill@illinois.edu  for details.


March 25 @Emily G. Johns Intermediate School, 430 Mitchell Drive, Plano, just off route 34. Check in @ 8 AM. Contest begins @ 9 AM. Contact Deanna Roby roby@illinois.edu @ or Kim Eisnaugle @ keisnaug@illinois.edu  for details.


March 25 @ WIU Riverfront Campus, 3300 River Drive, Moline. Registration begins about 8:15 AM. No refreshments are available onsite, but close to the facility. Contact Cheryl Geitner @ cgeitner@illinois.edu


April 1 @ First Church of the Nazarene; 1000 US 40, Casey.  Contact Jesse Crews @ jcrews@illinois.edu .


Open to 4-H Members 8 to 18 years of age as of September 1, 2016. Junior Division: (8 to 11), Intermediate Division: (12 to 14), Senior Division: (15 to 18)

Required Document

Contact for More Information:

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

Event Information

Apr 29, 2017

Registration Deadline:

February 19, 2017