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Eligibility for Eastern National and Western National 4-H Horse Contests


Dear Colleagues,

The National 4-H Competitive Events Task Force chaired by Johnathan Despain has been meeting to address national and multi-state event checklist and the process for such events. To keep you all up to date, please note that some information was shared in a previous email as well as was addressed by Johnathan at the National 4-H Leadership Conference. Due to the discussion, the Eastern and Western National 4-H Horse Contest management teams have also met to address the eligibility rule related to national competitive events. The Mississippi River is the boundary for these competitions. This information will be posted on the web sites of both contests and is being sent out to you as State 4-H Program Leaders.

"If a State decides to change whether it will attend the Eastern or Western National Contest from its participation the previous year, the Contest Management Committee of both events are to be notified of the decision by April 1 of the current year. All representative teams from a state must attend that same event."

To provide explanation, if a state plans to send their delegation to a contest not in their geographical area they must notify both contest management committees the first year they request such a change.

For example, in 2011, two western states (Washington and Oregon) sent their entire delegation to the Eastern National Horse Contest and in 2012 one eastern state (Mississippi) sent their entire delegation to the Western Contest. No action is required from these states if they wish to continue to attend the national contest that they have in the past.

The second important component of this rule is that states are not allowed to split their delegations between Eastern and Western Contests. All contest entries from a state must attend the same national event.

For example, in the 2011 Eastern National Horse Contest and the 2012 Western National Horse Contest (same program year) the following states split their delegations to both national contests (Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Georgia, and Wyoming). This practice will not be followed then for future Eastern and Western Horse Contests.

If you have any questions, please call or email..



Lisa A. Lauxman, Ph.D.
4-H National Headquarters, Division of Youth & 4-H
Institute of Youth, Family & Community, NIFA, USDA
Phone: (202) 690-4568 Cell: (202) 445-5607