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Big winners! Cocke County 4-H Horse Club shines at State

©2009 NPT PHOTO SUBMITTED

Luke Hopkins, 14, and Kelsey Haynes, 17, not only won the Team Demonstration at the 4-H State Championships on Feb. 20, they also won a $500 Scholarship for all of their hard work. The two 4-Hers are excited about representing Cocke County and the state of Tennessee at the big multi-state contests held later this year with their demonstration, ≥Back in the Saddle Again,≤ which is about traumatic injuries to horse back riders and how to prevent those injuries.
Published: 11:30 PM, 03/06/2009 Last updated: 11:31 PM, 03/06/2009
 

Author: Luke Hopkins
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

NEWPORT-When it comes to competition, the Cocke County 4-H Horse Club is always well-prepared. And, the accolades continue, as the Club headed off for state competition, and brought home some serious hardware.
Cocke County's Premier 4-H Horse Club traveled to Cookeville on Feb. 20 for the Tennessee 4-H Horse Program's annual State Championship. In all, 15 4-Hers from Cocke County competed in a variety of contests that they had qualified for after big wins at the Eastern Regional in January.
Club members Kelsey Haynes, 17, and Luke Hopkins, 14, got Cocke County off to a fast start winning big in the team demonstration contest with their program "Back in the Saddle Again." The duo had been preparing their demonstration for months and off of their hard work paid off when they won the prestigious competition, and the $500 scholarship that went along with the victory. Haynes and Hopkins are now eligible to compete in the Eastern National 4-H Round-Up in Louisville, Kentucky in November. The duo's hopes followed on the footsteps of their former Club members Elizabeth Johnson and Kelsey Brooks, who went on to win the National Championship in 2007. The Club celebrated the big victory with a dinner at a nearby restaurant, and then headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest before the Horse Bowl and Hippology contests the following day.
On Saturday, Feb. 21, the 4-Hers arrived early at Tennessee Tech's Hyder Burkes Arena for a long day of competition.
The Senior High team, consisting of Kelsey Haynes, Emily Smith, Kinzey Brooks and Luke Hopkins, had a spectacular day, winning the Horse Bowl competition and placing 2nd in the Hippology contest. Hopkins took home 3rd place individual honors while Haynes finished 5th, individually. The pumped-up team is now looking forward to competitions against other states at the Southern Regional 4-H Contest in Little Rock, Arkansas in August, the Quarter Horse Congress, which will be held in Columbus, Ohio in October, and the Eastern National 4-H Round-Up in Louisville, Kentucky in November.
Cocke County had two teams qualify for the state contests in the 11-13 year-old Junior High Division, which both fared well. Team 'A,' consisting of Cole Hopkins, Lachlan Bebout, Ellie Owens and Morgan Rowland, placed 3rd overall in Horse Bowl after beating out several teams. Team 'B,' consisting of Ariel Parks, Emily Costner and David Smith, advanced one round before being eliminated.
The club's youngest 4-Hers included Johnie Parker, Amelia Hurst, Sarah Hopkins and Oona Bebout. They placed 34d in Hippology, with Amelia Hurst winning 7th individually.
The Premier Club is now looking forward to an exciting Spring with upcoming horse judging contests, while the senior 4-Hers will continue to study and prepare for the big national contests to be held later this year.
The successful senior team members also need the support of the Cocke County community in raising funds to represent Cocke County and Tennessee at the national contests. The club is planning several fund raisers to help raise the money needed to participate in these educational contests. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for the team, or would like to make a donation, please contact Maureen Smith at (423) 613-0864, or Karen Hopkins at (423) 237-5120. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated by the 4-Hers.
The Cocke County Premier 4-H Horse Club is open to all youth in grades 4-12 who would like to have fun while learning all about horses. The club is free and participants do not need to own a horse to get involved.
For more information about the Horse Club, contact Maureen Smith at (423) 613-0864. For general information about 4-H in Cocke County, contact 4-H Agent Melanie Allen at (423) 623-7531.

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