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Competitors Meet the Challenge of the State 4-H Competitive Trail Ride

Posted: September 24, 2015

The 2015 PA 4-H State Competitive Trail Ride, the Richard C. Ely Memorial Ride was held on September 18-19, 2015 in Rothrock State Forest.
High Point winners. Left to Right: MaryBeth Fox, High Point Adult; Abby Zajaczkowski, High Point Jr.; Cassie Folmar, High Point Sr.

High Point winners. Left to Right: MaryBeth Fox, High Point Adult; Abby Zajaczkowski, High Point Jr.; Cassie Folmar, High Point Sr.

The 2015 PA 4-H State Competitive Trail Ride, the Richard C. Ely Memorial Ride was held on September 18-19, 2015 in Rothrock State Forest. 4-H members, leaders, family and friends arrived with their horses on Friday, September 18th, went through pre-ride inspections and prepared to participate in the competitive trail ride on Saturday the 19th. The 2015 Keystone Ride had participants from Bedford, Centre, Clearfield and Jefferson counties.

Competitive trail riding takes place on well-marked trails at a timed pace. Judges observe the ride, inspecting the horses before and after the competition.  The ride is not a race against time, although competitors must complete the ride within a specified time range to avoid a penalty. Scoring is based primarily on the overall condition of the horse, with points subtracted for any changes in the horse’s condition.

The ride offers high point awards in three divisions.

High Point Award winners were:

  • High Point 4-H Junior Rider – Abby Zajaczkowski, Centre County;
  • High Point 4-H Senior Rider – Cassie Folmar, Clearfield County;
  • High Point Adult Rider – MaryBeth Fox, Bedford County.

This year, an award was given to the first-year youth competitor with the highest score. The 2015 High Point Rookie Award went to Amanda Wolfe, Jefferson County.

Division Winners:

Division A – Junior 4-H Members Riding Ponies:

  • First – Isabelle Fisher, Bedford;
  • Second – Amanda Wolfe, Jefferson;
  • Third – Jayden Bechdel, Centre;
  • Fourth – Kristen Ewing; Bedford.

Division B

  • No entries

Division C – Junior 4-H Members Riding Horses:

  • First – Abby Zajaczkowski, Centre;
  • Second – Branden Zajaczkowski, Centre;
  • Third – Abby Fischer, Bedford.

Division D – Senior 4-H Members Riding Horses:

  • First – Cassie Folmar, Clearfield;
  • Second—Cassie Wonderling, Jefferson;
  • Third – Brittany Ewing, Bedford;
  • Fourth – Emily Smith, Centre;
  • Fifth – Staci Wolfe, Jefferson.

Division E - Adult/4-H Leader Light Weight:

  • First – Jen Zajaczkowski, Centre.

Division F - Adult/4-H Leader Heavy Weight:

  • First – MaryBeth Fox, Bedford;
  • Second – Crystal Folmar, Clearfield;
  • Third – Kim Ewing, Bedford;
  • Fourth – Chris Wolfe, Jefferson;
  • Fifth – Jessica Herrmann, Centre;
  • Sixth – Brenda Coe, Centre.

Horsemanship Award Winners

The ride also offers horsemanship awards for each youth division. The horsemanship division is judged on overall care and handling of the horse or pony before, during and after the ride.

Junior Division:

  • First – Amanda Wolfe, Jefferson;
  • Second – Jayden Bechdel, Centre;
  • Third – Kristen Ewing, Bedford.

Senior Division:

  • First – Cassie Folmar, Clearfield:
  • Second – Cassie Wonderling, Jefferson;
  • Third – Emily Smith, Centre.

The Sportsmanship Award for 2015 was presented to Emily Smith, Centre County.

This ride is an annual event coordinated by members of the Penn State Extension Youth Equine Team, faculty and staff. Dr. Scott McAllister, Centre Equine Practice, served as the veterinary judge. Millie Turner served as the lay judge and Dr. Tammy Clark Eichstadt served as the horsemanship judge. Kathy Fye of Centre County served as official timer for the event. Additional help for the ride is provided by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, local competitive trail riders, Twin Creeks Ambulance Service, members of the Nittany Amateur Radio Club, Penn State Animal Science students, Penn State Equine Research Team members, Penn State Collegiate Horsemen at Penn State (CHAPS) members and many local volunteers.

The Competitive Trail Ride project is open to all 4-H horse members in Pennsylvania. For more information on 4-H horse programs, contact your county Penn State Extension office or go to 4-H Horse Program website.