June 5, 2001 | By: Rebecca Jackson, Equine Extension Intern

From all across the Commonwealth, 4-H members brought their lassos and horses to the Western Kentucky Ag Expo Center in Bowling Green to compete for top honors in the State 4-H Horse Special Event. The event was hosted by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Contestants participated in team penning, calf roping and breakaway roping and learned that hard work and practice do make a difference. Fans in the stands cheered and 4-Hers worked together to separate marked cattle from a herd and then maneuver them into a pen. The horses made sliding to stops, headed off cattle, galloped full speed trying to catch up, turned on a dime, and then quietly stood on the side.

Teamwork and practice were the key elements in the team penning competition. Twenty-two teams came together to pen their calves in an effort win a buckle for the event. Maneuvering horses to separate calves from the herd the fastest gave 4-Hers a chance to show cooperation. A team from Warren Co. consisting of Jessica Fields, Josh Oates and Steven Haley earned top honors. This team penned five head of cattle with a first run time of 77.4124 seconds and a second run time of 50.4357 seconds.

Individuals in the calf roping event showed their talents while roping a calf at top speed. Steven Haley of Warren Co. with his horse, Casey, gained the calf roping buckle as he roped his calf the fastest and Joseph Fowler of Crittenden Co. placed second with his horse, Bull. Calves also were lassoed in the breakaway calf roping contest. Dennis Page and Steven Haley of Warren Co., and Joseph Fowler of Crittenden Co. participated in this event.

Every group competing in the team penning had one round where they had to pen at least one of three cattle in less than 90 seconds to be considered for the championship round. The final championship round was open to the top ten teams with the fastest times and the highest number of cattle penned.

Of the ten teams, five were able to pen at least one of their specified calves. The team penning results were: first - Jessica Fields, Josh Oates and Steven Haley of Warren Co.; second - Jessica Fields of Warren Co., Jordan Parsley of Barren Co., and Josh Oates of Warren Co.; third Grant Bale of Hart Co., Micheal Bale of Hart Co., and Brian Lovell of Barren Co.; fourth - Erynn Offutt, Bobby McCue and Jared Holloway of Logan Co.; fifth - Seth Hodges, John Thomas Hodges and Ally Hensley of Hart Co.; sixth Jordan Parsley of Barren Co., Steven Haley of Warren Co. and Josh Oates of Warren Co.; seventh - John McCord of Edmonson Co., Dennis Page of Warren Co. and Joseph Fowler of Crittenden Co.; eighth - Erynn Offut, Krystal Anderson and Bobby McCue of Logan Co.; ninth - Erynn Offutt, Krystal Anderson and Amanda Abney of Logan Co.; and tenth - Seth Hodges of Hart Co., Ally Hensley of Hart Co., and Rachel Derepentigny of Barren Co.

"The volunteers helped make this day a success," said Ashley Griffin, UK Extension Associate for Equine Youth Activities. "The 4-H Horse Program would like to thank the volunteers, the Southern Kentucky Team Penning Association and the Western Kentucky Ag Expo Center for all of their time and effort."