Dorchester 4-H horse teams compete – Widmaier is champion

Submitted to the Dorchester Banner/4-H Club
Dorchester County 4-H Club teams took part in state competitions. In front from the left are Caroline Wilson, Coach Becky Burgess, Pippa Milhollan and Tessa Diefenderfer. In back from the left are Skylar Blunt, Clara McKenna, Rachel Widmaier and Coach Missy Tucker.

CAMBRIDGE — On June 15, Dorchester County’s 4-H Horse Judging and Hippology Teams competed at the statewide contest held at the Howard County Fair Grounds.

Horse Judging allows youth to test their knowledge and skills of horse conformation and riding sports by judging and placing live horse show classes, and Hippology, directly derived, means “the study of horses,” and the state contest rigorously tests the 4-Her’s intimate knowledge of horses and horse related items. In preparation for the competition, the team collaborated with local horse farms and equine specialists.

Dorchester County presented a strong showing this year, sending six youth to the state competition.

Junior member Tessa Diefenderfer, age 8, placed 4th in performance judging and received a white ribbon in Hippology, showing a bright beginning to her 4-H career. Intermediates, Skylar Blunt, age 13 and Clara McKenna, age 12, placed exceedingly well for their first year of Judging and second year of competing in Hippology.

Blunt placing 3rd overall in Novice Judging and a red ribbon in Hippology, and McKenna placing 6th overall in Novice Judging and a red ribbon in Hippology.

In their first year competing at the senior level, Pippa Milhollan, age 14, received a white ribbon in Hippology, and Caroline Wilson, age 14, received a red ribbon in Hippology. There were 30 senior aged youth, this age level is notably the most difficult, often presenting information from a college level.

Senior member, Rachel Widmiaer, age 15, having made the 2018 Maryland State Hippology Team, who went on to compete nationally, went on to win the 2019 Maryland State Horse Judging Contest over 30 other senior aged youth (14-18). She again has qualified for a chance to compete on a state team that competes nationally in Louisville, Ky.

The team is looking forward to practicing for next year’s competition by visiting more farms with a variety of horse breeds and specialties. If you have a child between the ages of 5 and 18 who loves horses, this is a great opportunity for them to learn more, no horse ownership or experience necessary.

The Dorchester County 4-H program is the youth development program of University of Maryland Extension. 4-H is open to any youth ages 5-18 as of January 1st. 4-H is an equal access and equal opportunity program.

For more information about 4-H, please call 410-228-8800 or email 4-H Agent Associate, Missy Tucker, at metucker@umd.edu. Also, find online at https://extension.umd.edu/dorchester-county/dorchester-county-4-h-youth-development-program.

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