University supports largest youth horse show in Virginia set to begin Sept. 15

BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 31, 2005 – The Commonwealth’s largest youth horse show, the 44th annual Virginia State 4-H Championship Horse and Pony Show, will be held Thursday to Sunday, Sept. 15 to 18, at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va.

More than 600 horses are expected for the event which will feature 4-H members participating in many different disciplines of horse and pony competition, said Celeste Crisman, 4-H horse specialist at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Championship show places educational emphasis on stable management, showmanship, safety, equitation, horsemanship, and sportsmanship. All of the participants have qualified for the state event by competing at shows or clinics in local districts.

“The horse project, as do all 4-H projects, teaches life skills such as decision-making and communication skills, organization, planning, team work, and responsibility, especially as the youth take part in judging events and oral presentations,” said Robert Ray Meadows, director of the Virginia 4-H program. “The animal science projects give youth experience in the responsible care and well-being of animals, awareness of the practices in animal agriculture, and the safe and appropriate use of animal products. These programs also help youth become aware of career opportunities in the animal agricultural industries.”

The 4-H horse show is the culmination of a comprehensive educational program about the horse, which is done in the 4-H philosophy of learn by doing. 4-H members who will be competing have registered the horse as a 4-H project animal and have been responsible for the care and training of the animal, providing for most of its needs.

4-H is the youth development organization of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Virginia Cooperative Extension provides the research-based educational resources of the land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to individuals, families, groups and organizations especially in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. It operates through a network of on-campus and local Extension offices and educators who provide leadership for programs that help all the citizens of the Commonwealth.