Six local youth represent EOT County at state competition

Contributed photo
Sara Mindermann, Olivia Reed, Mikaela Niemi, Faith Kalina, Kadance Brauch and Breckin Foley participated in the Minnesota 4-H state horse show from September 16-19. All of the local youth are members of the East Otter Tail County Wranglers and are from New York Mills and Perham. 

Six members of the East Otter Tail County horse project recently participated in the Minnesota 4-H State Horse show from September 16-19. The youth qualified for the state horse show after earning trips at the East Otter Tail County Fair in July. 

All of trip winners from the EOT Horse Project are members of the EOT Wranglers 4-H Club and included Mikaela Niemi, Sara Mindermann and Kadance Brauch of New York Mills, as well as Breckin Foley, Olivia Reed and Faith Kalina of Perham.

This year, 591 youth from across the state participated in the annual event at the Minnesota State Fair.  The 4-H’ers demonstrate their skills and knowledge in hippology (showing knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry), horse judging (study of an animal, measuring it against an accepted ideal), horse training and achievement, speech and demonstrations about interest in horses or the horse industry, showmanship and drill team skills. 

Youth who participate in the Minnesota 4-H Horse Project learn about show, trail, and endurance riding; test their horse knowledge at quiz bowls or on judging teams, and study horse science. Youth may participate if they own or lease a horse. There are even options for youth who are interested in horses, but don’t have access to one in their community.

“Through the Minnesota 4-H State Horse Show, youth build communications skills, gain deeper learning and interest in horses, and build relationships with caring adults,” said Renee Kostick, Extension Educator who manages the 4-H horse project in Minnesota. “These experiences contribute to their success in school, community, and futures.”

The following youth were members of the East Otter Tail County delegation:

Sara Mindermann participated in Western Pleasure (first place), Western Horsemanship (1st place), Halter Showmanship (fifth place), English Equitation (first place), English Pleasure (sixth place), Trail, and Level 4 Horse Training

Olivia Reed participated in Halter Showmanship (fifth place), English Pleasure, and English Equitation

Mikaela Niemi participated in Western Horsemanship (sixth place), Halter Showmanship (ninth place), Western Pleasure, English Pleasure, and English Equitation

Faith Kalina participated in Poles, Jumping Figure 8, Key Race, and Barrels

Kadance Brauch participated in Poles, Jumping Figure 8, Key Race, Barrels. 

Brauch also represented East Otter Tail County in the Grand Entry, a parade that includes representatives of each county on horseback carrying their respective flags, as well as Dan Patch Award Finalists, all led by the American Flag carried by the Dan Patch Award winner. Over 80 riders had one practice before performing their routine to music in the Coliseum which ended with a salute to our country and the Star-Spangled Banner.

Breckin Foley participated in Poles, Jumping Figure 8, Key Race, and Barrels

The EOT 4-H Horse Project is open to all enrolled 4-H members. There are opportunities for youth with or without horses. For those with horses, weekly practices are held at the fairgrounds arena in Perham May-September and club meetings are held occasionally throughout the off-season. 

Anyone interested in learning more about or getting involved with the Horse Project (with or without a horse) visit or call the Extension Office at 385-5420 to be connected with horse project leaders.