EquiSmartz State 4-H Educational Contests

EquiSmartz - Virginia 4-H Knowledge Competitions

March 31 - April 2, 2023 Lexington, VA


  • 4-H/FFA Hippology - Friday, March 31, Rockbridge High School and Saturday April 1, Virginia Horse Center (for horse judging phase)
  • 4-H/FFA Horse Judging - Saturday, April 1, Virginia Horse Center (reasons at Rockbridge High School Sat. afternoon)
  • 4-H Horse Bowl - Sunday morning, April 2, Rockbridge High School
  • 4-H Horse Communications Contest - Sunday, April 2, Rockbridge High School


Hotels with 4-H Competitor room blocks in Lexington, VA:
Days Inn, Quality Inn, Super 8, Econo Lodge, and Motel 6, all in Lexington, VA. Please google for their phone numbers.


Entry Forms, Rules & Results

  • State Horse Judging Contest Rules (PDF)

  • Entry deadline March 20
    Club Leaders/Coaches are asked to complete the registrations.
    Extension agents will verify member enrollment upon registration submission.
    Cost: $tbd/participant includes lunch

    FFA Note: this contest is the official state horse judging contest for the Junior teams.  The top senior teams will still do the team part of the contest at state convention to determine who moves on to the National contests.  For questions regarding FFA please email Andy Seibel at gseibel@vt.edu
  • Scantron Sample - be familiar with proper bubbling of answer sheets

  • Results
  • Entry deadline March 20
    Participants must receive a Blue ribbon at Unit level or above to compete.
    Club Leaders/Coaches are asked to complete the registrations.
    Extension agents will verify member enrollment and earned blue ribbon upon registration submission.
    Cost: $tbd/participant

The State Horse Bowl contest is limited to 5 Horse Bowl Teams per DISTRICT per age group. Qualifiers are held at the DISTRICT level.

  • Contact the following to validate entry Qualification
  • Contest Registration deadline March 20
    Club Leaders/Coaches are asked to complete the registrations
    Extension agents will verify member enrollment upon registration submission
    Cost: $tbd/participant

  • Results
  • AYHC Horse Industry Handbook last updated 2021 - see this page for updates to purchase.
  • Equine Science by Griffiths last updated 2020. Purchase at AYHC.
  • See all resources and links in each contest set of rules above.
  • AYHC Horse Smarts is continually updated - see this page for updates . Summary of Horse Smarts updates 2021:
    • New chapter
      Knot Just for Fun – knots & tying knots
      Equine Detective – process involved for going from differential diagnoses to a final diagnosis – includes types of exams, diagnostic tests and treatment
      All Systems Go - molecular/cellular basics, endocrine system & nervous system including anatomy, physiology & common disorders
    • Major edits
      It’s a Hot Topic – previously only covered fire safety – disaster preparedness added
      Learn from the Best – updated & activity level added
      Oh, My Aching Feet – detailed hoof/lower leg anatomy (support & suspension components) added – hoof disorders (especially laminitis) updated
      Healthy Habitat – now includes information from several of the deleted chapters
    • Other notable edits
      All of the health & disease chapters have been reviewed and many have had additional details added (i.e. additional cardiac system anatomy & EKG, additional information on ticks, additional information on sarcoids, EHV-3 added, Romifidine added to medications, equine respiratory diseases expanded/updated
      Additional details added (including foundation sires and/or notable horses) to Parade of Breeds, Pony Power and Where in the World
      Evolution updated
      Additional details on racing, types of carriages etc. added
      Updated and additional details added to Family Resemblance (basics and other lethals) & Code Behind the Color
    • Chapters that were deleted & information added to another chapter
      I Like Mine Green
      Tidy Up
      Money, Money, Money

This program is supported by a grant through the Virginia Horse Industry Board.
Thank you VHIB for sponsoring EquiSmartz!

Thank you to the Farm Credit Knowledge Center for sponsoring EquiSmartz!

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Sandy Arnold, Youth Equine Extension Associate at (540-687-3521/TDD*) between hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m, Monday-Friday. to discuss accommodations 15 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

horse program logo


Katherine Carter
Extension Youth Animal Science Specialist
(540) 231-2257

Jennifer Redifer
Extension Program Associate-Youth Animal Science
(540) 231-6345

Horse Program Advising Leadership

Social Media


To contribute to the Madagan Endowment, checks may be written to:

VA 4-H Foundation with memo Madagan endowment

Mail checks to:  

VA 4-H Foundation
902 Prices Fork Road
Attn: Gift Acct.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

This endowment funds scholarships annually to applicants active on the current VA 4-H Horse Program State Educational Teams competing at the regional and national contests to help cover their travel expenses. The larger the endowment, the greater funds available for scholarships. Thank you for your continued support!