For 12-year-old Addy Hunter, 4-H is more than just an extracurricular activity. She does anything she can that involves horses.
She has shown horses in the Fremont Phoenix 4-H group through the Clarke County 4-H for three years. When Addy’s mom, Jennifer Hunter, read about the Equine Extravaganza in the 4-H newsletter, Addy decided she wanted to give that a try.
Since she had never been to the Extravaganza before, Addy signed up to do as many competitions as she could. She participated in equine drawing, scrapbooking, hippology (which is the science and anatomy of horses), an individual demonstration (showing how to do an emergency dismount safely off a horse) and the model horse show.
Addy, along with one other girl from Clarke County, went to join a team from the Union County 4-H for hippology because there weren’t enough kids in Clarke to make a team. The group studied hippology once a week in Afton.
Many of the competitions Addy did at the Extravaganza, she initially got started in because of family and friends.
“I started scrapbooking because we held a fundraiser for a girl who was very sick with cancer. It was a free fundraiser for scrapbooking things and after it was over she was so happy, just very, very happy,” said Addy.
Drawing is more of a family tradition.
“My mom used to draw when she was younger and when I was about 12 she drew me a horse that was so cool, then she taught me,” said Jennifer. “Then I was showing Addy when she was real little and then I taught her. So it’s been three generations now of the horses and drawing, and same with the showing.”
The model horse show was new to the family so they did some research ahead of time. Addy did some online shows before her first live show at the Extravaganza.
“The model horse show is the funnest,” said Addy.
Addy came home from the Equine Extravaganza March 23-25 with some major wins under her belt. She recieved more than 30 first place purple ribbons, three grand champion awards, one reserve grand champion award and one overall champion award.
“The people were just amazing. The judges were all great. We got great advice and tips and good criticism,” said Jennifer. “I wish more kids would get involved with it [Equine Extravaganza]. There are just so many opportunities up there and so many people to meet and great experiences.”
Joining groups like 4-H are not just for people with livestock or those who live outside of city limits. There are different activities for kids to do at all ages and many don’t have to include an animal at all.
Call the Clarke County Extension Office for more details at 641-324-3316.
“Maybe if other kids see how much fun Addy had and how much she learned and how much it enriched her life we could get more kids involved,” said Jennifer.