Not all 4-H horse projects are done from a saddle. 4-H members recently competed for top honors in the Illinois 4-H Horse Speaking Contest held April 29 on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.
4-H Horse Speaking Contest help youth gain self-confidence, courage and persuasiveness; share ideas with others; and develop the ability to speak in public to inform others about horse-related subjects and the 4-H horse project, said Debra Hagstrom, University of Illinois Extension equine specialist. Youth compete in formal, extemporaneous, and demonstration presentation divisions of speaking.
Brenna Berns of Carroll County continued her winning weekend by capturing first place in the senior division of the individual presentation contest. Berns completed a trifecta sweep during the weekend, winning the state championship in the 4-H Horse Bowl and 4-H Hippology state contests along with her speech title.
Miranda Scheel of Kane County was the senior division winner in formal speech. Madde Klinkey of Kane County was the senior division winner in the extemporaneous division. Other top senior performances were earned by Grace Feuerborn, Kane County, second in individual presentation; Kiersten Pratt, Bureau County, second in extemporaneous; Katelyn Hamilton, Randolph County, third in extemporaneous; and Brenna Berns, Carroll County, fourth in extemporaneous.
Gwen and Madde Klinkey of Kane County teamed up to win the senior team presentation.
In the junior division, Elizabeth Melton of Kane County earned first in individual presentation. Additional top finishers included Samantha Zellers of Lee County, second; Grant Alexander of Knox County, third; Ava Kilburn of McDonough County, fourth; and Tristan Melton of Kane County, fifth.
The Will County team of Carrie Roberto and Shawna Gordon earned first place in the team presentation division.
Nora Thompson of Kane County earned first place in the formal speech junior division. Additional winners included Ruthie Ruhl of Logan County, second; Tea Thomas of Whiteside County, third; Ryleigh Taylor of Wayne County, fourth; and Shawna Gordon of Will County, fifth.
Illinois youth competing in the National 4-H Horse Speaking Contest are supported by the Illinois 4-H Foundation and its donors.