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Whether you grew up with horses or simply have always loved them from afar, you can learn a lot in the horse project! This project offers activities in horsemanship, horse development and training. The horse project is a great way to be able to gain valuable experience and skills through engaging activities like showing and horse judging. There are so many great skills learned through this program. You will learn responsibility, proper nutrition, care for your animal, and decision making.

You don’t have to own a horse to be involved with this project. Consider horse judging competition!

Equine Headgear

All 4-H members are required to wear a properly fitted ASTM or SEI standard F1163 (or above) certified equestrian helmet whenever mounted or driving at all 4-H horse and pony events, shows, activities, or practices. Original tags must be present in all approved helmets. The 4-H member is responsible to see that this specified headgear is properly fitted with the approved harness fastened snugly in place whenever mounted. Helmet policies apply to all county, area, and state 4-H horse and pony events, shows, and activities. Protective helmets are recommended for all riders and drivers at all times. It is recommended that all adults working with 4-H members model the desired youth behavior by also wearing protective helmets whenever mounted or driving. 

Policy for 4-H members participating in Livestock programs across county lines

4-H youth must participate on county teams in the county in which they hold 4-H membership. Only when their county does not offer a particular program or event (i.e. livestock judging, horse bowl etc.) can they participate in an adjacent county in their Unit. Notify the State 4-H Educator in charge of that particular area to obtain permission. A shared membership form is not required. 

Equine Activity Liability Act

In 1995, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Equine Activity Liability Act to provide protection to individuals and organizations that sponsor equine activities. This act stipulates that an equine sponsor or professional, or any other person, is immune from liability for the death or injury of a participant, which resulted from the inherent risks of equine activities. However, there are exceptions to this rule – a person will be held liable for injuries of an equine activity participant if he or she displays a willful and wanton or intentional disregard for the safety of the participant and if he or she fails to make reasonable and prudent efforts in ensuring the safety of the participant. In addition, a person will also be held liable for the injury of an equine activity participant if he or she is injured on the land or at a facility due to a dangerous latent condition, which was known to the equine sponsor, professional or other person.

The law requires that a specific warning be posted on the premises of the equine activity in a clearly visible location in one inch black letters worded as follows:

Warning

Under the Equine Activity Liability Act, each participant who engages in an Equine activity expressly assumes the risks of engaging in and legal responsibility for injury, loss, or damage to person or property resulting from the risk of equine activities.

Horse Lease and Ownership Papers

Youth exhibiting horses at the Illinois State Fair Junior Horse Show must complete a Horse Lease/Ownership Form and submit it to the state fair by June 1. Many counties also require this ownership paper and often have an earlier deadline. If you are in the horse project and exhibiting a horse, please check with your local Extension office. DOWNLOAD FORM.

State and Regional Horse Contests

2017 Horse Contests

Horse HippologyDOWLOAD 2017 RULES

Horse Bowl: DOWNLOAD 2017 RULES

Horse Individual / Team PresentationsDOWNLOAD 2017 RULES

Horse Formal Speech Contest: DOWLOAD 2017 RULES

Horse Extempore Speech ContestDOWNLOAD 2017 RULES

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Youth enrolled in Beef are eligible to exhibit in the Animal Science Exhibit Class. Each county may submit 2 entries total from 50135, 50136; and 1 entry from 50137.

50135    ANIMAL SCIENCE

Prepare a display focusing on any activity related to the animal science project. Demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have gained through the animal project you studied.  The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. Live animals are not permitted as exhibits in this area. For safety reasons, exhibits cannot include glass, syringes with needles or any other sharp objects.

50136    ANIMAL SCIENCE CLOVER CHALLENGE

Open to 15- to 18-year-olds enrolled in the Animal Science Clover Challenge project who have completed all levels of an animal project.

Exhibits in this category should go “above and beyond” what the 4-H project books cover and should represent an accumulation of years of project study. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. The completed Illinois 4-H Clover Challenge Agreement must be presented with the exhibit.

50137    ANIMAL SCIENCE READY4LIFE CHALLENGE

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Animal Science project

Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.