Pelion, SC (Paul Kirby) – Seven young ladies from the Country Springs Equestrian Center in Pelion are heading to Perry, GA to compete in the Southern Regional 4H Championship Horse Show this week. These local girls will join others from our state to compete against kids from 13 other states in educational horse competitions. They’ll also compete in English and Western riding competitions.
The 4-H program began around the start of the 20th century with the work of several people throughout the United States. They were concerned about the positive growth of young people.
The seed of the 4-H idea of practical and "hands-on" learning came from the desire to make public school education more connected to country life. Early programs tied both public and private resources together for the purpose of helping rural youth. Organizers also found that young people were more receptive to new agricultural techniques than adults. If they taught the youth, their newfound knowledge would then pass to the older generations on America’s farms.
The 4-H program is still associated with what was once known as land grant colleges. These later changed names, but for the most part still focus on agriculture as a large part of their educational programs. Through their cooperative extension services, the 4-H program is associated with universities like Clemson. Local extension agents still teach young people about rural life and the latest modern agricultural developments through 4-H.
The girls from Pelion will have an opportunity to compete with others from across the Southeast. All of these girls had to qualify by attending the State competitions and placing accordingly. Although they will have an opportunity to win ribbons in Perry for their skills, they also may advance to the national level competition as well. The girls from Pelion that are competing are:
Paige Harris, 19. She will be riding her horse Dylan in several classes including hunter, jumping, and dressage. Paige will also be riding another horse, Tank, in western pleasure classes.
Abigail Newman, 15, will be riding her horse Bella in several classes including hunter, jumping, and dressage.
Aliza Allison, 14, has competed on her horse Belle the last two years but has decided to concentrate strictly on the educational side this year. She will be competing in the Horsebowl, Hippology, and the Judging contests.
Audrey Harwell, 14, will be competing with her horse Roxy in hunter and dressage.
Annabelle Creech, 12, will be competing on her horse Jack in several classes including hunter, jumping, and dressage.
Victoria Leiter, 11, will compete on her horse Sierra in showmanship.
Brooke Stalnaker, 10, will compete on her horse Jet in hunter showmanship and other hunter classes.