The term “Hippology” comes from the Greek “hippo”, meaning horse, and “ology”, meaning “the study of”. The Hippology contest is designed to test not only a youth’s knowledge of equine science, but also application of this knowledge in a competitive setting. There are four phases to this contest: Examination Phase, Station Phase, the judging phase, and the team problem phase.

The Examination phase includes a written exam, slides projected to identify horse features, and anatomy classification. During the Station phase youth walk to a series of stations where they are asked to provide identification of objects related to horses, such as tools and equipment, saddles, use of pulse rate, i.e. The Judging Phase comes next, where youth will be required ro place at least four classes as if they were a judge themselves. Finally, the Team Problems component allows teams to apply their knowledge of equine to real-world situations. One example of this would be providing a farm management recommendation for a proposed horse operation.

Scoring is based off a combination of the scores from the Examination Phase, Station Phase, and Judging Phase. Youth are required to give judging reasons.  Participation in this event is perfect for youth looking to expand their involvement in the NYS Equine Program, while also providing valuable experience to youth with futures in the animal industry.

How to get involved

  1. Become a 4-H member at your local county office
  2. Contact your local 4-H county educator
  3. Join a Hippology team, or study as an individual
  4. For more information you can also contact jms943 [at] cornell.edu (Jessica Tyson), NYS 4-H Horse Educational Events Coordinator

NYS 4-H Horse Hippology Contest Information

Date:   Sunday, August 27, 2023

TimeRegistration begins at 7:30 am / Event begins at 8:00 am

Place4-H Youth Pole Barn Arena, NYS Fairgrounds - Syracuse, NY


Any youth selected by their region is eligible to complete at the state contest. Each region may send four (4) Junior and four (4) Senior teams to the state contest. If a region decided to split into an A & B, each may send two (2) Junior and two (2) Senior teams. Regions will be responsible for the selection of their teams. Teams must consist of three (3) or four (4) members to qualify for team awards at the State Competition. Teams with one (1) or two (2) individuals may compete but will only be considered for individual awards and may be combined with other teams at the discretion of contest officials.

Youth must register with their local 4-H county educator.

For State events, a junior youth must have reached their 9th birthday prior to January 1 of the current calendar year.

Rosettes will be given to the ten (10) high individuals and to members of five high teams (5 each for Junior and Senior).

The top 4 seniors will be asked to join the NYS 4-H Horse Nationals Team and will travel to Louisville, KY, to compete at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup.

Contest Entry Information and Resources:

Only CCE County Educator or staff will be able to register youth via the CCE Event Registration for Programs portal.

Registration Information

For more information

Contact Donna Walker, NYS 4-H Horse Hippology Chairperson, at dlw2 [at] cornell.edu.