The term Hippology comes from the Greek “hippo”, meaning horse, and “ology”, meaning “the study of”. The Hippology contest is designed to test knowledge of equine science and application of this knowledge in a competitive setting.

The primary objective of the NYS 4-H Hippology contest is to provide an opportunity for youth participating in 4-H to demonstrate their knowledge of and reasoning ability in equine science and management in a friendly and fair competitive setting. Enrollment in a NYS 4-H Horse Project is recommended but NOT required. This contest is meant to be a rewarding and educational experience. 

A contest consists of four phases: Examination, Stations, Horse Judging, and Team Problems. The Examination phase includes a multiple-choice written exam, and a slide exam with questions on projected photos of horses, and horse related objects. The Station phase consists of a series of interactive or reactive ten question matching stations asking for the identification of horse related objects or pictures. In the Judging phase, youth are asked to place at least four conformation or performance classes and give oral reasons on the placing of those classes. Finally, Team Problems ask the team to give a presentation applying their knowledge to real-world situations.

Individual scoring is based on a combination of the scores from the Examination Phase, Station Phase, and Judging Phase. Team scores include all the phases.  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.

NYS 4-H Horse Hippology Contest Information

2024 Contest Information

Sunday, August 25, 2024

Check-in at 7:30 PM / Contest starts at 8 am sharp!

Location:  4-H Youth Pole Barn Arena, NYS Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY

Deadline to Enter:  Friday, August 2, 2024, at 11:59 pm

Contest Entry Information:  Only CCE County Educator or staff will be able to register youth via the CCE Event Registration for Programs portal.  Registration for this event is online only.  Youth must register with their local 4-H county educator.

  • Educators:  Register your 2024 NYS 4-H Horse Hippology Teams Here

Contest Helpers:  On the entry form each team is to designate one contest day helper. We will need help scoring, room running, etc., and will recruit these people to help on the day of the event.

Qualifying:  Any youth selected by their region is eligible to compete 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.

  • Please note: For State events, a junior youth must have reached their 9th birthday prior to January 1 of the current calendar year.
  • For more information, see the NYS 4-H Horse Educational Event Rulebook.

Gate and Parking Passes:  Attention CCE staff with youth participating in this event, your county office will be responsible for distributing parking passes and gate tickets to the youth in your county participating at this event.

Pre-contest Zoom Meeting:  There will be a Zoom meeting held on August 7th for Educators, Coaches, Youth and Families who register for Hippology and Judging at the State Fair. For those that have never attended Hippology/Judging at State Fair we are asking that you attend this meeting, but we highly RECOMMEND EVERYONE attends! In this meeting we will go over how to get your tickets to get into fair, your teams/coaches, and more! Please make sure you provide up-to-date email information, so you receive the information about this Zoom meeting.


Need More Information: If you have questions regarding this event, please contact:

  • dlw2 [at] cornell.edu (subject: NYS%204-H%20Hippology%20Contest) (Donna Walker), NYS 4-H Horse Hippology Chairperson – dlw2 [at] cornell.edu (subject: NYS%204-H%20Hippology%20Contest) (dlw2[at]cornell[dot]edu)
  • jms943 [at] cornell.edu (subject: NYS%204-H%20Horse%20Judging%20and%20Hippology%20Contest) (Jessica Tyson), NYS 4-H Horse Educational Events Coordinator – jms943 [at] cornell.edu (subject: NYS%204-H%20Hippology%20and%20Judging%20Contest) (jms943[at]cornell[dot]edu)

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

For more information

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