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Louisville Bound! Greene County  4-H Hippology Team Wins State Contest

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Members of the Greene County 4-H Hippology Team will be heading to national competition after winning at the state level in Missouri.

Members of the Greene County 4-H Hippology Team will be heading to national competition after winning at the state level in Missouri.

The senior hippology team of A.B. Burkhart, Mattie Cobban, Cara Driskell and Ella O’Connor placed first in the competition and will represent Missouri at the National 4-H Hippology Contest in Louisville, Kentucky this November, after winning the Missouri 4-H Horse Bowl and Hippology Contest on the MU Campus in Columbia.

“Greene County had 10 4-H members competing throughout the weekend in various competitions,” reports Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “While each and every placing is outstanding, it is not about the winning. It is about 4-H members who have gained knowledge, learned how to be a part of a team, and learned how to follow through on their commitment to that team.”

Hippology, that is, the study of horses, is an activity that lets 4-H members by letting exhibit their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a competitive setting.

The term “Hippology” comes from the Greek “hippo,” meaning horse, and “ology,” meaning “the study of.” The primary objective of the Hippology Contest is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in a 4-H Horsemanship and Horseless Horse projects to demonstrate their depth of their horse knowledge in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendship and fairness prevail.

The Hippology contest has four phases: examination, station, the judging phase and team problem solving.

Driskell was the second high individual in the senior division; Cobban was fourth, and Burkhart was sixth.

Two junior hippology teams from Greene County also competed, placing second and fifth in the contest. The second place team consisted of Carlee Clair, Karley McCall, and Rory O’Connor.

The fifth place team was Nicole Berger, Katie McCall, and Kian O’Connor. Berger was the top junior individual and Karley McCall was second.

In the 8-10-year-old division, Katie McCall was high individual, and Kian O’Connor was 9th.

In addition to their outstanding results from the Hippology Competition, Greene County fielded both a senior and a junior team in horse bowl, and one junior junior individual. Kian O’Connor was the junior junior representative, finishing as top individual and earning a belt buckle for his efforts. O’Connor competed as a member of a combined team that also won first in their division.

The Greene County Junior horse bowl team comprised of Nicole Berger, Carlee Clair, Karley McCall, Katie McCall and Rory O’Connor placed third as a team. Berger and O’Connor were in the top ten individuals. The senior team consisting of AB Burkhart, Mattie Cobban, Cara Driskell and Ella O’Connor also placed third as a team. Cobban was fifth high individual, O’Connor was seventh, and Driskell was tenth.

“The primary objective of Horse Bowl contests is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H horse projects to demonstrate their knowledge of the equine subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. It is hoped that these contests will provide an educational experience for both participants and spectators,” said Deaver.

Greene County 4-H horse bowl and hippology teams are coached by volunteers Jean Cobban, Gail Driskell and Dawn O’Connor.

Co-sponsored by Missouri 4-H and Missouri Community Betterment (MCB), the weekend summit brought together teams of youth and adults representing 4-H programs and community betterment organizations from 30 counties.  A guest team from Ft. Scott High School also represented the Kansas Community Pride program. Attending from Jasper County were Matthew Beatty, Christopher Beatty, Isaiah Chandler and Bob McNary, 4-H Youth Specialist.

To learn more about 4-H — the world’s largest youth-serving organization — and how to get involved locally go online to http://mo4h.missouri.edu.

Persons interested in learning more about 4-H may contact 4-H youth development specialist Karla Deaver at (417) 466-3102.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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