April 13, 2024  |  UIUC  |  Regional qualification required  

The primary objective of the Hippology Contest is to provide, in a friendly but competitive setting, an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H to demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge and understanding of equine science, and in particular the practical application of this knowledge and skill.  Participants do not need to have horses or be enrolled in the horse project to participate.

Participation in regional contests is open to any youth within Illinois 4-H.  Any 4-H member that wants to participate must be registered for the appropriate regional contest through their county extension office.  Participants must individually qualify for the state contest at their respective regional Hippology Contest.  Here is a map of the regions.

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.

Regional Qualifying Contests

Regional qualifying contests take place each March or April on a date selected by the regional contest hosts.  Only youth who qualify in a regional contest may compete in the state hippology contest.  Contact your regional contest host for information on regional contest dates (map of the regions):

Required Document

2024 Hippology Rules & Entry Information

Additional Horse Contest Information: 


Open to 4-H Members 8 to 18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year. Junior Division: (8 to 11 yo), Intermediate Division: (12 to 14 yo), Senior Division: (15 to 18 yo)

Contact for More Information

Equine Extension Specialist
Debra Hagstrom