Published on 02/17/21

Georgia 4-H'ers test their equine knowledge at virtual state competition

By Austin Clark

On Feb. 13, 45 Georgia 4-H youth participated in the 2020 Georgia 4-H Virtual Horse Quiz Bowl. The event was held in a hybrid format, with all competitive portions of the quiz bowl held electronically to comply with COVID-19 precautions.

Youth participating in 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl learn about horse health and other equine-related topics, then demonstrate that knowledge in a competitive and thought-stimulating environment. Participants develop leadership and life skills while strengthening social skills by working as part of a team.

“The Horse Quiz Bowl event is always a day of excitement for the youth, trying to be fast on the buzzers while adult officials watch the youth display so much horse knowledge,” said Julia McCann, equine science specialist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. “Our new format was adapted to keep everyone safe. It was amazing how we played the afternoon with the same excitement as live play.” 

Both Junior and Senior 4-H teams compete during the quiz bowl. Junior teams consist of fourth through eighth grade youth, and Senior teams are ninth- through 12th-graders.

The panel teams compete in double-elimination brackets. Points are awarded to teams who provide correct answers to questions after responding with button signals.

In addition to the hybrid format, the new Horse Smarts Test was used as a prequalifier for the top five Junior and the top five Senior teams to be selected. More than 130 youth completed the Horse Smarts Test on January 28.

“Due to the intense efforts and commitment of youth, coaches, county agents and the UGA staff to do their homework and address every detail of this event, the state Horse Quiz Bowl contest felt like a huge win for everyone involved,” McCann said. “I am proud and thankful for everyone who made the competition a success and hope this model can serve the program well in future preparations for quiz bowl contests and other future horse events.”

A team plaque was presented to the top three placing Senior and Junior teams. The winning Senior team will represent Georgia at the Western National Roundup in January 2022, in Denver, Colorado, receive Master 4-H’er status and be honored at the State 4-H Congress in July in Atlanta.

The winners of the 2021 Georgia 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl are:

Senior teams
First place team: Raven Cooper, Kate Spearing, Ashley Spearing and Katie Embry — Oglethorpe County
Second place team: Jessica Gay, Bethany Beauchamp, Isaac Monteiro and Lila McCoy — Gwinnett County
Third place team: Noel Pickel, Natalie Ross, Lyndon Reeder and Emilee Smith — Morgan County

Junior teams
First place team: Chloe Folsom, Emily McBrayer, Kenleigh Pearce and Hadley Thaxton — Grady County
Second place team: Molly Smith, Allie Thaxton, McCall Woodruff, Danica Heeter, Elli Land, Emerson Bagget — Oconee County
Third place team: Avery Pruett, Addison Hill, Elena Williams, Claire Lummus — Coweta County

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 190,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit or contact your local Extension office.

Austin Clark is a Georgia 4-H public relations associate.

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