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NC 4-H Horse Program- Hippology Contest


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The 2014 NC 4-H Horse Program Enrollment form is now available.

The 2013 4-H Horse Program Rulebook is now available.

The updated 2013 Open Horse Show Judges' List may be found here.

Remember to donate to the NC 4-H Horse Program Scholarship Endowment!


NC Cooperative Extension Link

Find your local county extension office HERE.


March 2nd, 2013


North Carolina A&T University

1601 East Market Street
Greensboro, North Carolina 27411

Horse Skeleton

Breakfast and Lunch will be available for purchase March 2nd, 2013 as a fundraiser for the NC A&T University Riding Team

The purpose of the Hippology Contest is to provide participants with the opportunity to blend knowledge and skills acquired in horse judging, bowl, demonstrations, public speaking, and showing into one activity. Additionally, the Hippology Contest will encourage participants to continue expanding their horse knowledge and participation, recognize participants for their total involvement in the horse industry and their comprehensive  knowledge of the horse industry and teach good sportsmanship through a friendly and competitive environment.

2013 Hippology Contest Entry Form

2013 Hippology Contest Schedule- Please note the location change from previous years!


Any 4-H member is eligible to participate in the 4-H Hippology Contest. Participants do not need to own a horse.

Each county is eligible to enter any number of Junior or Senior teams of four members in the state contest. The total individual scores for the three high team members will constitute the team score and be used in determining team awards. Individual entries will be accepted. All participants in the contest will be eligible for individual awards or recognition.

Senior teams will be composed of participants who have reached age 14 and have not reached age 19 as of January 1. Junior teams are composed of members who have not yet reached age 14 as of January 1.

Members of the champion team in the Junior or Senior (who were not selected to participate on the state team) divisions will be eligible to compete on future teams in that division as long as they meet the age and educational eligibility requirements. Members of the state team selected from the Senior Division and participating at the National 4-H Roundup or Quarter Horse Congress will be ineligible to participate as individuals or members on any future county hippology teams.

Each highest ranking overall Junior and Senior individual will be designated Horseman-of-the-Year. The winning Senior individual will be ineligible to compete in future North Carolina 4-H hippology contests.



While the contest is in progress, there will be no conferring between participants or between a participant and anyone else except as directed by the chairman or his representatives. Failure to abide by this regulation will result in disqualification of the participant. Participants may speak to their group leader if they have any questions or problems.

Clinch CutterEach participant will judge four (4) classes on video, two (2) halter and two (2) performance classes. Junior and Seniors will judge different classes based upon difficulty level. The four (4) horses in each class will be of the same breed, sex, and approximate age. Each horse shall be numbered for identification purposes. Classes will be selected from the list in the Judging Contest Rules. In addition, any available light horse breeds could be used in halter or performance classes. Fifty points shall constitute a  perfect score. Judges will be used to make the official placing on each class. Official placings and reasons will be given on completion of the contest.

Participants will visually identify tack, feedstuffs, and horse-related equipment. Each age division will identify 25 to 50 different items worth a total of 300 points. Participants will not be permitted to touch the items during inspection.

Two written exams shall be given separately to Juniors and Seniors. Questions will consist of horse nutrition, health, breeding, management, genetics, horsemanship, and North Carolina 4-H Horse Program rules and regulations. Each exam will be worth 150 points (300 points total).

Team Problems are for Senior teams only. All teams will be presented with the same problem(s). Each team’s members will have equal time to discuss among themselves the problem, immediately after which they will have to present a written solution or series of suggested procedures relative to the problem. Each member of each team is encouraged to contribute to the written presentation. Evaluation will be based on the understanding of the problem and completeness of the logic used in making the written response. Participants will be given 5 minutes to prepare their answer and 10 minutes to write up their answer. The team problem will be worth 200 points.

Total individual scores will consist of combined scores from the horse judging classes (250 points), visual identification (300 points), written exams (300 points), and team problem (200 points). Ties will be broken according to the following priorities:

  1. Combined scores of both written exams
  2. Combined scores of both written exams plus total judging score     
  3. Combined scores of both written exams, total judging score, plus visual identification score
  4. Total contest score plus halter class(es) total
  5. Total contest score plus performance class(es) total

Team scores will include the three highest individual scores plus the team problem score (senior division only).


Awards and Recognition

The final results of the contest will be announced, and awards will be presented following the contest.

The top 10 Junior and Senior Division individuals in the overall standings, and the top five Junior and Senior individuals in the judging and exam-identification portion of the contest will receive ribbons. The high-scoring individuals in each of the three categories will receive an award.

The top six overall Junior and Senior Division teams will receive ribbons. The winning team members in each division will receive awards.

The highest scoring overall Junior and Senior individuals will each be named the 4-H Horseman-of-the-Year in their respective age categories and will receive appropriate awards. The reserve champion Junior and Senior Division individuals will also receive appropriate awards.


State Team Selection

An All-Star team composed of the high-scoring Senior individuals from the Senior Division will be tested to determine the state team and will represent North Carolina in national and regional competitions. In the event a high Coon Footed and Club Footed DiagramSenior hippology individual also is a high individual in the State Judging Contest or Horse Bowl Contest within the same year, that individual will have one week after completion of the State Horse Judging Contest to declare the event(s) in which he or she wishes to represent North Carolina at national contests. The state Extension specialist will designate the next high-ranking individuals in the other contest(s) to represent North Carolina at nationals.

The state is not responsible for providing expense money or transportation to the national contest but will attempt to assist.

The coach of the high-scoring Senior individual will be designated the coach of the state 4-H hippology team.

If appointed by the state board, a special assistant coach will accomplish the following:

  1.  Orient the coach to national rules and event procedures
  2. Assist in the training, transportation, and management of both hippology teams in national competition.
  3. Identify and secure funding before the State 4-H Hippology Contest, and assist the hippology team coach, county agents, and team members with fund-raising projects.

Please thoroughly read the Hippology Contest section in the NC 4-H Horse Program Rulebook (updated annually) for additional information on contest rules, regulations, order of play, etc.


All valid references for the Hippology Contest are listed under Educational Materials. Please remember that references differ for Junior and Senior level teams! ONLY the sources listed on the NC 4-H Horse Program website will be considered valid for the contest.



2013 Hippology Contest Entry Form

Please note that this form must be postmarked by February 20th, 2013 or your team will be disqualified.



Holiday Inn Express
3111 Cedar Park Road
Greensboro, NC 27405

Request the NC 4-H Horse Program Block to get a discounted rate of $85/room.
Use NC4 as booking Code .

Reserve your room prior to February 15th, 2013 to receive this special event rate.


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