The state 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl contest brought teams from across Georgia together on January 29 for a spirited match in which buzzers were hot and stakes were high. Emanuel County 4-H’ers Marlee Barton, Amelia Grace Clements, Taylor Johnson, Sydney Lively, and Ansley Williams qualified for state competition and placed fourth in the contest. This is only the second year that Emanuel County has participated in the contest.
The contest includes a test element where the highest scoring teams from each age group can qualify to advance to state competition.
Emanuel 4-H’ers who trained and took the Horse Smarts Test were: Marlee Barton, Amelia Grace Clements, Claire English, Mallory Funderburk, Blaire Johnson, Taylor Johnson, Sydney Lively, Stella Kate Marsh, Addi Rae Robertson, Cayleigh Taylor, Harper Ware, Julianne Way, Ansley Williams, Leyton Williams, and Chanlee Youmans.
In the test portion of the competition, Taylor Johnson was the seventh highest scorer and Sydney Lively was the ninth highest score for the fourth through eighth grade age group.
Overall, the team placed third, qualifying the highest scorers to advance to the state competition.
The state contest takes place in a fast-paced quiz bowl style that places teams in brackets with double elimination.
Fourteen junior teams and nine senior teams competed at the qualifying level with the top five junior and top five senior teams competing in-person at Rock Eagle.
Junior teams are made up of youth from fourth through eighth grades, and senior teams are ninth through 12th grade 4-H’ers. The winners of senior-level state competitions become Master 4-H’ers.
Marlee Barton, Amelia Grace Clements, Taylor Johnson, Sydney Lively, and Ansley Williams competed in three rounds of play and finished the competition in fourth place. The teams were coached by 4-H Agent Jakyn Tyson and 4-H Volunteer Mona Lisa Johnson.
Horse Quiz Bowl is one of dozens of agriculturally based programs that Georgia 4-H offers to youth with the goal of providing educational experiences that equip participants for their future as citizens and stewards. Contestants prepare by studying industry standard handbooks on equine health, history, management, and care. Participating 4-H’ers gain a practical understanding of equine science and principles of horse management applicable to enhancing horse ownership or other equine related activities.
The equine industry has a $2.5 billion impact on Georgia’s economy in an average year. The Horse Quiz Bowl program connects students with leading veterinarians and industry specialists as they prepare to compete. These impactful relationships facilitate the successful future of this important part of Georgia agriculture. Participants and their parents gain access to valuable information that can improve their equine operations.
Dr. Julia McCann, Extension Animal Scientist for Equine, recognizes the long-term benefits of this program. “Horses always win when their owners are more knowledgeable. The veterinarians that help officiate the contest are very supportive of the students’ and coaches’ efforts,” she said. “The quest for so much knowledge takes real teamwork, strategy, commitment to excellence, and learning to think fast! Those are handy skills to use in competition and in life.”
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 225,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information about how to get involved with Horse Quiz Bowl and Georgia 4-H, contact the Emanuel County Extension Office by calling 478-237-1226 or visit the office located at 129 North Anderson Drive in Swainsboro.