Mary Ann Van Osdell, Nunez, Dwayne P. | 6/24/2009 7:01:16 PM
Organizers expect 600 youth from across Louisiana to compete in the 40th annual Louisiana 4-H and FFA State Horse Show July 6-11 in West Monroe.
Coordinated by the LSU AgCenter, the event will be held at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center. The youngsters who gather for the state horse show already will have competed in parish and district shows.
“Not only will the show feature a variety of events showcasing the many high-quality horses and exhibitors from all over the state, but we will also have public speaking, demonstrations, quiz bowl, horse judging and the Gerry Lane Premier Exhibitor contest,” said Dwayne Nunez, show manager for the LSU AgCenter.
Competitions include breakaway roping, team penning, pole bending, western riding, reining and barrel racing.
Pam Kaster of Zachary, author of “Molly the Pony – A True Story,” will conduct an equine photography clinic July 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost is $25 for the general public or $15 for 4-H and FFA members.
Kaster will share her secrets of taking great equine photos. She is a member of the Equine Photographer’s Network and trained under German equine photographer Gabrielle Boiselle. She also is a winner of the 2008 American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award.
Enrollment for the clinic is limited, and participants should contact Vickie Coullard, LSU AgCenter assistant director for corporate relations, at 225-578-2620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are also doing a commemorative painting for the first time,” Coullard said.
Show visitors will be able to purchase signed and numbered prints of the painting, which was done by equine artist Geri Heurtin exclusively for the show.
“The horse industry is a very important part of Louisiana’s diversified agriculture, with the latest figures showing that the total economic impact of the industry meant about $2.45 billion to the state’s economy in 2008,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service.
“With the dollars spent on more than 207,540 horses owned by almost 50,000 Louisianans and with the dollars generated by horse production, horse racing and other aspects of the industry, the economic impact of the horse industry is tremendous in Louisiana,” Coreil said.
“Of course, what horses mean to the state goes well beyond dollars spent. They are a source of significant pleasure for youth and adults – something everyone should appreciate,” Coreil said.
“These activities are helping to develop youth with character and leadership skills that are crucial to the future of our state,” Coreil added
An awards banquet is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on July 9.
The West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau is a major sponsor of the show.Mary Ann Van Osdell