CAPE MAY COUNTY - Local teens competed last weekend at the State 4-H Championship Horse Show held at the Horse Park of New Jersey at Stone Tavern, and many of them brought home awards for their skills and talents with equines.
Locally, eight members of the Cape May County 4-H Horse Club took part in the annual event that involves riding styles, including English, Western, dressage, very small equine, and game divisions.
Alexa DiPalantino, of Cape May Court House and the Star Hollow Riders 4-H Club, was the reserve champion in hunter hack horse, sixth in junior English showmanship and grooming, third in junior hunter under saddle, fourth in junior equitation on the flat and ninth in junior equitation over fences.
Coryn Dykhouse, of Cape May Court House and a member of the Star Hollow Riders 4-H Club as well as the Teen Ambassadors 4-H Club, was the reserve champion in senior English pleasure horse. She placed third in the introduction level walk, trot, canter dressage division and sixth place in senior dressage seat equitation.
Robbie Elwell, of West Cape May and the Shore Blazers 4-H Club, earned grand champion awards in English halter and hunter hack pony as well as a reserve champion ribbon in hunter under saddle pony. He placed third in handy working hunter pony and sixth in working hunter pony and junior equitation over fences.
Kate Pantelione, of Belleplain and the Wranglers 4-H Club, placed fifth in the introduction level walk, trot, canter dressage division, eighth in junior English showmanship and grooming, fifth place in hunter under saddle pony, sixth in handy working hunter pony and fifth in working hunter pony.
Jessica Raymond, a Star Hollow Rider 4-H Club member from Cape May Court House, placed eighth in both Senior English pleasure horse and senior equitation over fences.
Elizabeth Schalick, of Dias Creek and the Whinny Pigs 4-H Club as well as the Teen Ambassadors 4-H Club, also competed at the state horse show in hunter hack pony, as well as
Erin Schalick, of Dias Creek and the Whinny Pigs and Teen Ambassadors 4-H Clubs, competed in senior hunter under saddle and senior equitation on the flat. In addition, Erin, as Cape May County Senior 4-H Equestrian of the Year, competed in the 2017 NJ State 4-H Equestrian of the Year contest.
Kelly Suter, of Erma and a member of the Shore Blazers 4-H Club did well at her last 4-H horse show, winning grand championships in senior English showmanship and grooming as well as senior hunter under saddle. Suter won reserve championships in senior equitation on the flat, working hunter horse and handy working hunter horse. In addition, she placed third in English halter and senior equitation over fences and fifth in hunter hack horse.
The State 4-H Championship Horse Show is an annual three-day event that offers 4-H members the opportunity to compete at an advanced level, officials said. More than 160 4-H members from around the state took part in the horse show .
“Competitors at the state show are the best of the best from each county; they have earned the right to participate through county-level qualifying shows and lots of hard work,” said Linda Horner, Cape May County 4-H program coordinator. “I am very proud of our Cape May County Team; they are all champions.”
For more information about the 4-H youth development program see cmc4h.com or call 609-465-5115 ext. 3605.