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Empowering Equestrian Education: NYS 4-H Horse Program Hosts Inservice and Judging Clinic


Ithaca, NY, 2/19/2024 – The New York State 4-H Horse Program recently hosted two impactful events, the Inservice and Judging Clinic, over a weekend filled with learning, collaboration, and a significant announcement for every county involved.

The Inservice, held on February 9th and 10th, saw the participation of over 30 educators and volunteers from across the state. The event offered a unique blend of leadership and team-building training on Friday, followed by a full day of workshops designed for volunteers and educators with 4-H responsibilities. Workshops covered a diverse range of topics, including riding evaluations, equine welfare, trail riding essentials, and volunteer management strategies. The event successfully met the objectives set for its first year within the program's five-year vision, providing accessible training to educators and volunteers. Cornell Professors, accredited judges, and various equine professionals generously volunteered their time, contributing to the event's success. The event closing included a special guest, Ellen Taylor from the Harness Horse Youth Foundation that left participants inspired and prepared to return to their county program in good spirits.  

In the same weekend, on February 11th, the 4-H Judging Clinic, designed for 4-H youth, educators, and FFA members, drew an impressive attendance of over 100 participants. The clinic featured workshops, judging examples, and invaluable skill development for competitive horse judging. Colleen Wersinger, the NYS 4-H Horse Judging Coach, received special acknowledgment for her dedication in strengthening the program. We are looking forward to sending even more prepared youth to compete in Horse Judging at the national level this fall.

To complete the weekend- the NYS 4-H Horse Program, with the generous support of the NYS Agriculture and Standardbred Breeding and Development Fund, distributed a full set of resources and a durable, transportable box to every Cornell Cooperative Extension office in the state. These educational materials are vital to creating accessibility to youth across the state. This initiative sets a new standard in 4-H programming, showcasing the collective efforts of dedicated volunteers and 4-H educators in creating unparalleled opportunities for all.

For more information, contact:

Brieanna Hughes
NYS 4-H Equine Specialist
Cornell University
NYS 4-H Horse

About NYS 4-H Horse: The New York State 4-H Horse Program is a dynamic and inclusive initiative that engages youth in comprehensive equestrian education and leadership development. Focused on fostering a love for horses and promoting positive youth development, the program provides hands-on experiences, educational resources, and a supportive community for young enthusiasts. Through a variety of activities, including workshops, competitions, and events, participants gain valuable skills in horsemanship, equine care, and teamwork. The program is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive environment where youth can explore their passion for horses, build character, and develop life skills that extend beyond the equestrian arena.


Images (2)
  • Judging Clinic Workshop 2
  • Inservice- Riding Evaluations workshop

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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