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Area E 4-H Horse Show

The 4-H Horse Program is growing and thriving in Pinellas County.  Last weekend 34 Pinellas riders and their horses joined 100 more from eight area counties for the Area E 4-H Horse Show at the State Fairgrounds in Tampa.  What a full weekend it was!  The excitement started on Friday when the competitors arrived with their families and friends for registration.  At registration Coggins test results are checked, bits and helmets inspected,  ponies are measured, and show packets handed out.  Then it is time to move into the stalls or practice, practice, practice.
Saturday classes begin at 8:00 a.m.  Last weekend the weather forecast was fairly threatening, so we all had our fingers crossed. Saturday is mainly English classes with the notable exception of the Speed Events and Trail which took place in the Charlie Lykes Arena.  The weather held until the afternoon and the very competent grounds crew was able to moved the jump class course to the covered pavilion before the storm hit.  In spite of the rain and wind, we were able to complete all the scheduled classes in good time.
Western classes are featured on Sunday with the recent additions of Ranch Riding and Ranch Trail.  Sunday’s exceptions were the very elegant Dressage and the demonstration classes for miniatures. All classes missed the Sunday morning shower.
Of the 134 entries, 60% qualify to advance to the State 4-H Horse Show, also taking place at the State Fairgrounds.  Eighteen of the Pinellas competitors qualified for the state show on July 12-14.  The show is free, parking is free, so please come out and watch the best of the Florida 4-H Horse Program compete. 
Showing a horse involves a lot more than grooming and riding a horse.  Members are enrolled in a 4-H horse project,learn how to take care of a horse, learn to be organized and how to focus on a goal.
In the words of Dr. Ed Johnson, the horse program is designed to” improve citizenship, sportsmanship, horsemanship, character, competitive spirit, discipline, and responsibility…” (Florida 4-H Area & State Horse Shows Official Rules 2012).

For more information on the Florida 4-H Horse Program, go to Florida 4-H Horse Program