CORVALLIS - Oregon 4-H members won the high overall state award as a result of their performances in horse events at the Western National 4-H Horse Classic held recently in Denver, Colo.
The Oregon delegation took first for the second consecutive year and the third time since 1991, said Brad Jeffreys, Oregon State University Extension 4-H youth development specialist. The award is given to the state with the highest overall score based on placings in various competition categories, and distance traveled to Denver.
"When you consider that the Oregon 4-H riders are competing against teams from some 20 other states, including Texas and Oklahoma whose 4-H horse programs are among the best in the nation, then you know how good our Oregon kids are," Jeffreys said.
Taking first place in team presentations were Carrie Swesso and Trina Lee of Sutherlin. Mindy Reel, Ontario, took second place honors in public speaking, in which contestants deliver speeches on horse-related topics. Sara Oliphant, Roseburg, placed third in the individual presentation contest.
Representing Oregon in Horse Bowl competition were Jennifer Elkington and Amy LeFore, Milton-Freewater; Jennifer Pearson, Pendleton; and Amanda Helmer, Baker City.
Oregon 4-Hers in the horse judging competition were Jamie Bethany and Abrielle Perry, Medford; Cory McTaggert, Jacksonville; and Alicia Ballmer, Central Point.
Serving as chaperons and coaches for the Oregon 4-H delegation were Sherri Durbin, Central Point, Linda Banks, Roseburg, and Beverly Bingaman, Hermiston.
The 4-Hers qualified for the Oregon team by placing first in various categories at the Oregon 4-H State Spring Horse Classic. This year's spring horse classic will be held April 26-28 in Ontario.
Oregon delegates attending the classic in Denver received financial assistance from local 4-H groups, who conducted car washes, yard sales, horse shows and other activities to raise funds, and from county 4-H leader associations and individuals.