2023 Contest

Date: Sunday, March 19, 2023
Location: Animal Science Research Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO (map)

Hippology is an activity that can enhance learning for 4-H members by letting them exhibit their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a competitive setting. The term "hippology" comes from the Greek "hippo," meaning horse, and "ology," meaning "the study of." The primary objective of the Hippology Contest is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in a 4-H Horsemanship and Horseless Horse projects to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their horse knowledge in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendship and fairness prevail. The Hippology Contest has four phases: examination phase, station phase, judging phase and team problems.

There will be no limit on the number of teams sent, but counties are responsible for pre-assignment of contestants to teams with three minimum or four maximum youth. Hippology is a team event; however, individuals may participate in the test, judging and station sections of the contest. Individual participants are not eligible for team awards. They will be considered for the high point individual award. Please clarify on the form those on the team and those registering as individuals.

A team is composed of three or four members.


This contest is open to all 4-H’ers. Registration is $25 per youth – no fee for coaches. Youth and coaches should register in 4-H Online between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26, 2023. Late registration ($40) runs from Feb. 27 to March 5, 2023. No registrations will be accepted after March 5, 2023.

Important Notice

Individual entries are welcome and will be eligible to compete for the top individual award. These individual entries will be grouped into a team in order to do the team problem. This is for experience purposes only and they will not be eligible for the team award. Hippology is a "team event" and a team is defined as not more than 4, but not less than 3 members.

Past results

Rules and Resources

Resources for training a Hippology team

There are four phases to the Hippology contest. Each phase is worth 100 points. The first three phases are completed individually with each individual's points added for the team points.

  1. Test phase: Questions may be multiple-choice or true false. Study the same resources as the horse bowl contest. Contestants may be required to look at slides and/or objects and identify certain facts (for example: color of the horse, blemishes, markings).
  2. Judging Phase: See resources for horse judging. Usually judge two halter and two performance class. No oral reasons.
  3. Stations: There may be 5-10 stations for a total of 100 points. Each station requires the contestant to look at a group of objects and be able to identify what it is and may be required to tell its purpose. There are hundreds of different subjects for stations. Some examples might be: identify the parts of the hoof, identify different feeds, identify the parts of the male or female reproductive tract, identify grooming tools etc.
  4. Problem Solving: The team works on this together. Each team will be given a problem to solve. They are given the problem to read and 5-10 minutes to work together to prepare a solution. They present their solution to a judge. The judge evaluates the knowledge they have used to solve the problem, their work as a team (each person should present part of the solution), and their poise and speaking skills. The judge may ask questions to clarify or test the knowledge of the team. See judges score sheet below.

View resources