Clinton G. Depew, Merrill, Thomas A., Nunez, Dwayne P. | 7/1/2006 3:21:27 AM
Young people from across Louisiana will compete in the 37th annual Louisiana 4-H and FFA State Horse Show July 10-15 in the Monroe-West Monroe area.
Coordinated by the LSU AgCenter, the event is expected to attract approximately 500 4-H and FFA members. It will be held at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe.
The youngsters who gather for the state horse show already will have competed in district shows across Louisiana during June and July.
"The district and state horse shows are the culminating events for the 4-H horse program, but the horse shows are not the major objectives of the program," said LSU AgCenter Livestock and Horse Show Manager Dwayne Nunez. "They are simply a reward and opportunity for those who have participated in educational clinics, workshops and seminars.
"The shows are just the place for exhibitors to demonstrate the skills they have learned and the results they have gained from hours of hard work feeding, grooming and training their animals."
Youngsters who gather will participate in a variety of competitions – some that show their skills with horses and others that demonstrate such abilities as public speaking. The events include breakaway roping, pole bending, barrel racing and much more, as well as demonstrations, a quiz bowl and the Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor program.
"Horse-related youth development activities, such as the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H projects, are an extremely important part of the educational development of the next generation of horse enthusiasts," said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor. "Even more significant, these activities are helping to develop youth with character and leadership skills that are crucial to the future of our state."
The show formerly was held in Baton Rouge, but elimination of some of the facilities there to make way for new construction on campus made them incapable of accommodating the youngsters and horses who gather each year for this event.
It was first held at the Ike Hamilton Center last year and will remain at those facilities at least through this year and 2007, according to LSU AgCenter officials.
LSU AgCenter horse specialist Dr. Clint Depew said the Monroe-West Monroe facilities are "ideal," because they provide an air-conditioned coliseum, about 600 stalls and two additional arenas under one roof.
"They also have better parking and RV space than our LSU facility in Baton Rouge," he said.
For more information on the show, the 4-H youth development program or the variety of activities offered by the LSU AgCenter, visit www.lsuagcenter.com.