Horse club thrives: Youth equestrians shine

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The Crenshaw County 4-H Trailblazers club recently held their first meeting of the season. The group’s monthly meetings, held at the Tom Harbin Ag Center on the second Monday night of each month, serve as a hub for young horse enthusiasts aged 9 to 18. 

The meetings are led by student officers and cover a diverse range of horse-related topics, often featuring guest speakers including farriers, equine nutrition specialists, local veterinarians and others.  

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With an emphasis on education, the club offers hands-on demonstrations and welcomes both horse owners and those without equine companions.

“Everyone with an interest in horses can be involved and learn about what it takes to own and care for a horse,” said club sponsor Jenny Foster. “There are events all over the state that provide opportunities to compete with horses, but not every kid has a horse or the means to get there, even if they do have a horse. With 4-H, the focus is on education so horse or no horse, children can participate.”

Participation in competitions has been a cornerstone of the Trailblazers’ journey. Last season, the club participated in the State 4-H Show, Regional 4-H Show, and various educational competitions such as public speaking, quiz bowl, hippology and horse judging. 

In the realm of artistic expression, the club members excelled in passive educational competitions like photography, artwork, and model building.

The Trailblazers capped off the 2022-2023 season with successes at the Southern Regional 4-H Horse Championship held Aug. 2-6 in Perry, Georgia. The event showcased the hard work and determination of these talented, young riders as they competed in a variety of events. 

Four club members attended the competition along with approximately 30 other Alabama students. Thirteen states were represented at the regional tournaments.

Addie Beasock excelled in the educational event, earning a ninth place finish for her individual presentation titled “What’s the Attire.” Georgia-Lynn Lowe stood out by winning the reserve champion title for Gaited High Point, exhibiting remarkable skills in Gaited Showmanship, Gaited Mares, Gaited Equitation and Gaited Pleasure categories.

Anna Kate Foster showcased her skills in Ranch Ground Handling, Ranch Roping, Ranch Trail and Ranch Riding. Trilby Jones demonstrated her versatility by participating in a wide range of Western events, including Western Showmanship, Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship, Western Trail, Western Riding and Stock Type Mares.

The Trailblazers’ influence extends beyond competitions and meetings. The club engages in various community activities, including trash pickup, participation in Farm City Day, involvement in the Special Needs Rodeo, and contributions to Farm Safety Day. 

Additionally, the club organized events like riding clinics, and horse camp in order to foster a holistic learning experience for its members and other local youth.

This year the club had their very first 4-H scholarship recipient from the horse club, Emma Foster. Foster graduated from Highland Home School in May and is attending the University of South Alabama this fall.

For more information on the horse club, contact the Crenshaw County Extension office at (334) 335-6312.