4-H youth gear up for 2014 South Dakota State 4-H Horse Show

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Excitement and anticipation is growing for the 2014 South Dakota State 4-H Horse Show as 4-H members start preparing with their horses, said Megan Nielson, 4-H Youth Livestock Field Specialist.

The 2014 State Horse Show will be held July 23-24 in Huron at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds. With help from the newly formed South Dakota 4-H Horse Advisory Council, SDSU Extension is planning some new opportunities for 4-H youth and their families to participate, Nielson explained.

“There will be more classes for beginners, more youth-in-action contests, an exhibitor social and horse judge’s training for interested adults. There is truly something for everyone,” she said.

New opportunities for kids in the 4-H Horse Project have been developed and are included in the updated version of the South Dakota 4-H Horse Project Show Guide now available on

“The new 4-H Horse Advisory Council took into consideration the suggestions that were made in the 2013 State 4-H Horse Show Survey and added more events for beginners while also aligning State Youth-in-Action contests with national standards,” Nielson said. “Promoting the use of miniature horses within western showmanship for all age divisions were also incorporated into class names.”

Here is a quick list of the new events added to the show:

• Beginner English Showmanship

• Beginner Flag Racing

• State 4-H Horse Public Speaking Contest

• State 4-H Horse Demonstration Contest Individual & Team Contest

The South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association is sponsoring a free ice cream social for all exhibitors, family members, and horse show volunteers to attend on Wednesday afternoon, July 23, 2014.

Judges training

Adults who would like to become a certified 4-H Horse Show Judge in South Dakota should plan on attending the South Dakota 4-H Horse Show Judge’s Training held in conjunction with the State 4-H Horse Show on July 22-23, 2014.

The training is for individuals with a desire to learn the basics of horse show judging or improve their judging skills. Participants will interact with the State 4-H Horse Show Judges to learn about judging etiquette, receive an overview of the South Dakota 4-H Horse Project Show Guide, and gain more experience with evaluating horse classes and reasons. Individuals may register online for the training by going to the iGrow Store at There is a $40 registration fee.

Registration is due by July 8, 2014. A late registration fee of $55 is accepted up to July 18.

Success through Flexibility Workshop — July 21

Success through Flexibility is a free educational session for all exhibitors and family members to attend July 21 at 4 p.m.

Presented by 4-H Horse Advisory Council members, 4-H youth will learn how strength and flexibility can enhance their horse’s performance in any riding discipline.

Riders will demonstrate and teach exercises to help build a horse’s strength and flexibility. Participants do not need to bring a horse; however, those who would like to practice the new exercises are encouraged to bring a horse and practice at the end of the demonstration in the horse show arena.

To learn more about the State 4-H Horse Show and for a full schedule check out or contact Nielson at