4-H Participates In Mounted Games At County Fair

The 2018 Chautauqua County 4-H Parade Team qualified for the New York State Fair. Members from left to right: Montanna Pope, Jesse Morse, Alyssa Graziano, Deona Sanders, and Kinsey Witherow. Submitted photo

DUNKIRK — Chautauqua County 4-H Youth Development Program’s 4-H Horse Project participated in an English and Western Dressage, Mounted Games and a Parade Team Show on July 20, at the Chautauqua County Fair. The Dressage participants were judged by Clair Coffin.

In the English Dressage Division, Gracie Morrison took honors of Senior Grand Champion with Alyssa Graziano taking Senior Reserve Champion. In the English Walk/Trot Division, Jillian Delcamp received Grand Champion and Kinsey Witherow received Reserve Champion.

In the Western Dressage Division, Montana Pope took Senior Grand Champion and Jillian Delcamp took Walk/Trot Grand Champion.

The New York State Fair qualifiers for Dressage in the Senior English Division are: Gracie Morrison and in the Senior Western Division the State qualifier is Montana Pope.

Mounted Games is relatively new to Chautauqua County. It consists of relay games with team members riding their horses while holding items or doing a variety of challenges. We are excited to have a team qualify to go to the State Fair. The team consists of: Alyssa Graziano, Montana Pope, Deona Sanders, Kinsey Witherow and Jesse Morse.

The last event on Friday was a special treat. It was the performance of Chautauqua County’s Parade Team. Chautauqua County hasn’t had a parade team in twelve years. It was a special event to all who attended on that beautiful evening. A Parade Team consists of a team of five horses and riders performing a timed routine to music while carrying flags: one American flag, one New York state flag, one 4-H flag and one red flag and one blue flag. By the way, flapping flags around horses is not the easiest thing to teach them to accept. The planning begins early in the 4-H year when the team, with their coach, begin working months in advance by writing the choreography, picking out the music plus many hours of practicing, and of course, designing the costumes to go along with the theme of the music.

This year however was a bit different, as this team began as a Quad Team, but unfortunately a member had to drop out and so a parade team was established two weeks before the fair. The crazy idea to have a team, despite the two-week challenge, was a dream of one of the team members. That dream was to qualify to go to the State Fair for her last year in 4-H, as she will be aging out this year. Her dream will be coming true. The Parade Team performance, judged by Megan Thompson, qualified for the New York State Fair.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 664-9502 or visit our website at www. cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.