• Youths judge a halter class during the 2024 Missouri 4-H State Horse Judging Contest.

FULTON, Mo. – The University of Missouri Extension State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, March 23, drew 81 competing 4-H members.

This year’s event was hosted at William Woods University in Fulton, said Maria Calvert, Missouri 4-H state agriculture educator. After the contest, youths and coaches toured the facilities and learned more about the equine program from faculty and students.

The top 10 competitors ages 8-10:

  • First – Paige Harris, Callaway County
  • Second – Clara Lewis, Newton County
  • Third – Easton Hall, Callaway County
  • Fourth – Quinn Rugen, Camden County
  • Fifth – Kara Meier, Cape Girardeau County
  • Sixth – Payson McAsey, Andrew County
  • Seventh – Trinity Moore, Linn County
  • Eighth – Estella Richardson, Lincoln County
  • Ninth – Joanie Presser, Cape Girardeau County
  • 10th – Silas Deschu, Pulaski County

The overall top 10 junior (ages 8-13) competitors:

  • First – Lola Schmitt, Newton County
  • Second – Porter Kruse, Newton County
  • Third – Mackenzie Lauer, Callaway County
  • Fourth – Adalena McAsey, Andrew County
  • Fifth – Hannah Lichtengger, Cape Girardeau County
  • Sixth – Paisley O’Dell, Camden County
  • Seventh – Bailey Aufdenberg, Cape Girardeau County
  • Eighth – Norah Randle, Laclede County
  • Ninth – Hope Birk, Cape Girardeau County
  • 10th Raylynn Moore, Linn County

The top three junior teams represented the counties of Newton, first; Cape Girardeau; second; and Callaway, third.

Top 10 individuals in the senior division (ages 14-18):

  • First – Ava Hughes, Laclede County
  • Second – Lexi Mullins, Phelps County
  • Third – Lydia Smithee, Callaway County
  • Fourth – Victoria Jones, Laclede County
  • Fifth – Emma Wilson, Callaway County
  • Sixth – Morgan Benne, Callaway County
  • Seventh – Lilah James, Knox County
  • Eighth – Sophia Anderson, Newton County
  • Ninth – Bryli DeLashmutt, Callaway County
  • 10th – Jaden Haggard, Moniteau County

The top three senior teams represented the counties of Laclede, first; Callaway, second; and Moniteau, third.

The members of the championship team from Laclede County will advance to represent Missouri in a national contest.

The top senior for the halter classes was Lilah James from Knox County; the top junior was Adalena McAsey from Andrew County.

The top senior for the performance classes was Lydia Smithee from Callaway County; the top junior was Lola Schmitt from Newton County.

The top senior for giving reasons was Ava Hughes from Laclede County; the top junior was Adalena McAsey from Andrew County.

A majority of participants responded their skills in areas such as evaluating equine confirmation, interpreting discipline patterns, verbally expressing their thoughts about a placing and using correct terminology improved as a result of participating in the event, Calvert said. As a result of their involvement in 4-H, most of the youths also expressed they are seeking to learn more about agriculture, consider themselves an advocate for the agriculture industry, seeking a career in agriculture, feel they are educated consumers of agricultural products and are comfortable sharing their knowledge of agriculture with others. A majority of participants also responded they feel the program gives them an opportunity to explore something they really care about, are passionate about the things they do in the program and want to learn more about the topic.

Programs offered by Missouri 4-H would not be possible without support from our partners. Major support for Missouri 4-H Agriculture programs is provided by the Missouri 4-H Foundation in partnership with Ballenger Propane, Corteva Agriscience, FCS Financial, MFA Foundation, Missouri Association of Meat Processors, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Soybean Association, National 4-H Council, Safety National, Eunice Campbell and Dr. Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog.

About Missouri 4-H

Missouri 4-H grows today’s youth and prepares tomorrow’s leaders. With a blend of time-tested traditions and innovative hands-on learning, Missouri youth explore and find their spark in programs ranging from agriculture and conservation to aerospace and career development. Through clubs, programs, camps, in-school and after-school experiences, University of Missouri Extension faculty, staff and thousands of volunteers guide youth in developing essential skills, building confidence and fostering connections. Together, they inspire young people to make a real difference in their communities, their country and the world. To learn more about Missouri 4-H, visit

Youths judge a halter class during the 2024 Missouri 4-H State Horse Judging Contest.
Top junior team from Newton County: Lola Schmitt, Porter Kruse, Quincy Morgan and Clara Lewis.
Top senior team from Laclede County: Ava Hughes, Victoria Jones, Eliza Randle and Lindsey Prince.

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