Riders Learn Life Skills On Horseback

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Members of 4-H from around Northern Gila County, ages 9 to 19, locked horns July 28 and 29 in a spirited horse show.

Action began Friday evening in the Payson Event Center with the timed events when members competed in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying.

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A pair of 4-H club members prepare themselves for the competition that was held July 28 and 29 at the Payson Event Center. About 20 equestrians from Northern Gila County participated in the horse show.

Bright and early the next morning, members returned to the Event Center for the English events, which were scored by judges.

Jumping events are the most popular during which the young riders and their horses had to negotiate through and over a series of barriers.

Dismounted riders were also asked to show their horses in halter.

Later, the Western events took center state. They included trail and pleasure riding.

About 20 members, mostly from Payson, Young and Globe, participated in the event.

On hand to help conduct the competition was Payson High School agriculture teacher Wendell Stevens and members of the FFA club.

"The 4-H is very important to us in FFA," he said. "Their leaders do such a good job teaching them the equine sciences."

Nationwide, 7 million members participate in 4-H. The goal of the organization is to teach leadership, citizenship and life skills through a myriad of activities and events.

The informal youth education is conducted in Payson through the United States Department of Agriculture and the University of Arizona.

-- To reach Max Foster call 474-5251 ext. 114 or e-mail mfoster@payson.com.

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