Madeline McMillian and her horse CJ Wimpy Wishin Star aka, “Sophia” attended the recent 4-H Southern Regional Championship Horse Show in Perry, GA.; July 31-August 2, 2019, representing Florida, Gulf County Extension 4-H and the Big River Riders 4-H Horse Club with her horsemanship skills showing in three classes. She was showing with exhibitors from 13 states, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Madeline’s placing:

Pole Bending: She and Sophia ran a perfect pattern with a time of 22.977 seconds until Sophia’s tail touched the pole knocking it over which caused her a five second penalty, making her time 27.977 seconds. This caused her to miss placing No. 12 of the top 15 finalist out of 96 exhibitors from the 13 states. The top 15 finalist exhibitors ran the pattern with times from 20.990 thru 23.277 seconds. She still placed 39th in the top 41 percent of exhibitors after the 5 second penalty.

Barrel Racing: She and Sophia ran a perfect pattern with a time of 17.114 seconds placing her 48th exhibitor out of 98 exhibitors. The top 15 finalist exhibitors from the 13 states ran the pattern with times of 15.271 thru 15.873 seconds. She still placed in the top 49 percent of exhibitors.

Stake Race: She and Sophia ran a perfect pattern with a time of 9.107 seconds placing her 19th exhibitor out of 93 exhibitors. The top 15 exhibitors from the 13 states ran the pattern with times of 8.438 thru 9.047 seconds. She still placed in the top 20 percent of exhibitors.

Madeline did an excellent job demonstrating sportsmanship and horsemanship accomplishments representing Gulf County, Gulf County Extension 4-H Programs and State of Florida. We are extremely proud of you and Sophia. Madeline has been in the 4-H Program for 10 years and she graduated from High School in May which this is her last year showing in the 4-H Program. She will be missed and we extend our wishes for the ”Best” to you in your new future adventures. “Congratulations.” Remember the 4-H Motto: “To Make The Best, Better”.

There were from 2 -71 exhibitors representing each state of the 13 states with Florida having the largest number exhibitors. Dr. Saundra TenBroeck, University of Florida Animal Science Associate Professor State Extension Horse Specialist Undergraduate Coordinator, who is responsible for coordinating all the youth 4-H Animal Science Programs for the Areas, State and Regional competitions for the State of Florida was well represented by the exhibitors from Florida. She congratulated each exhibitor on their sportsmanship, horsemanship accomplishments and thanked each for attending.

Gulf County 4-H extends their sincere “Thank You” to all our sponsors for their donations; Mr. Tony & Blountstown Tractor Supply for stall shavings, Mr. Johnny Paul –Wewa Outdoors and Pawn for hay, Capt David C Rich-Rich’s IGA for ice and Mr. George Duren and Piggly Wiggly for water, Gatorade and snacks for show trips. Without the monetary donations, fund raisers and many needed supplies, the 4-H’ers would not be able to attend the shows to exhibit their talented accomplishments training with their horses.

Our new year for begins Sept. 1. for membership enrollment. We are looking forward to a great year of programs. 4-H is a youth development program open to all youth ages 5-18 as of Sept. 1. Cloverbuds, ages 5-7, may participate in 4-H club meetings and activities, but are not allowed to compete in shows with large animals until they age 8 as of Sept. 1 of that year.

4-H clubs are greatly assisted by adult volunteers. If you are interested in participating as an adult volunteer or involving your child in the 4-H programs, contact Melanie Taylor at the Gulf County Extension Office at 639-3200 or email metaylor@ufl.edu.