4-H Comes to Montgomery for Statewide Competition

Outside every stall, contestants primped and preened, but they weren't getting ready for a beauty pageant.   Many Alabamians were preparing for competition in the state's 4-H Horse Show.

Members from 30 counties gathered outside Garrett Coliseum to display their equestrian friends in multiple competitions throughout the week.

"We train all year with our horses to prepare to come down here," member Emily Howitz said.

According to the contestants, the competition is anything but easy.

"We get out here, feed the horses, take care of them all week long, clean out their stalls, and everything.  So, you definitely have to be committed," Howitz explained.

During the week-long event schedule, contestants participate in many events.  Of course, the horses are a big part of the show, but members also compete in art and public speaking contests; showing off your horse is only part of the experience.

"We're more about the important things, like teaching youngsters life skills to become contributing members to society," said Bob Ebert of the Alabama Cooperative Extension.

However, moving on from the state show is still important in the minds of the contestants.

"It's a stiff competition because a lot of girls out here want to make it to regionals, so we have to go out there and do the best we've done all year," Emily Howitz said.

4-H members have one more day of competition.  The winners from this week's events will go on to the Southern Regional Horse Show in Memphis, Tennessee on July 31.

Reported by: Cody Holyoke