NYS 4-H Horse Communications

The NYS 4-H Horse Communications contest is an event for qualifying youth to compete and show off communications and public speaking skills. The event is centered around the horse world, encompassing a wide variety of topics. As this is a state level event, youth will be evaluated at a high level with constructive comments offered to help youth improve. The NYS 4-H Horse Communications Program is one of our most beneficial programs as it allows youth to learn and practice public speaking skills that can be used in the future.

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

2024 Contest Information

Contest Date:  Saturday, May 18, 2024

Contest Time:   9:00 AM - Contest begins for both juniors and seniors at this time.

Individual schedules will be emailed to youth and CCE educators on or about May 10, 2024.  Any specific time requests must be made at the time of registration, and will be considered on a first-come, first-service basis.  Every effort will be made to grant special requests but are not guaranteed.

Youth should arrive at least one-half hour prior to their scheduled time.

Registration:  Registration opens on Thursday, February 1, 2024, and must be completed online by a CCE County Educator or staff via the CCE Registration Portal.  Click on the event category below to register:

Deadline to enter is Wednesday, May 1, 2024!

Location:  Dept. of Animal Science, 507 Tower Rd., Frank B. Morrison Hall, Cornell University.  Parking is available in either the North Frank B. Morrison Parking Lot or across Tower Road in the Peterson Lot and is free on weekends. A registration table will be set up in the main lobby of Frank B. Morrison Hall.


  • Youth must have presentations saved on an USB as we will be using the computer system that is currently set up in the presentation room.  Remember to bring any other items needed for presentations as well (props, easels, etc.).  If you feel more comfortable using your own computer, please feel free to bring it.
  • Please be familiar with the state rules that are published in the current NYS 4-H Horse Educational Events Rulebook dated February 2024. The NYS 4-H Horse Communication rules can also be found here.
  • Room monitors will not be making introductions. Contestants may introduce themselves.
  • Youth should bring their own lunch, drinks and refreshments.

Categories, Qualifying & Awards

Presentation Categories:  Youth may compete in one of the following categories:

  • public speaking
  • individual presentations
  • team presentations

Qualifying:  Any youth selected by their region is eligible to complete at the state contest.

Scoring and Awards:  Placings will be announced at the end of the contest. 

In each division of the contest, three (3) judges will independently evaluate each presentation. Copies of the scoring sheets will be made available upon request, to help in preparing the presentation.  Score sheets at the State event will be made available the day of the event. If youth are not present during results, sheets will be mailed to the county to be given to the youth.

Rosettes will be presented to:

  • high ten (10) Senior Individual Presenters
  • high five (5) Senior Team Presenters
  • high five (5) Senior Public Speakers
  • high ten (10) Junior Individual Presenters
  • high five (5) Junior Team Presenters
  • high five (5) Junior Public Speakers

The four (4) top seniors competing in public speaking, individual presentation, and team presentation 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.  If one or more of the four designated national team members are unable to participate at the national contest, the next highest ranking individual or team will be considered as alternates.  Commitment of qualified participants to be a part of the national NYS 4-H Horse Communications Team must be made prior to the first day of State Fair.

  • Individual Presentation - one (1) 4-H youth
  • Team Presentation - two (2) 4-H youth
  • Public Speaking - one (1) 4-H youth

The National Contest is usually the first weekend in November and takes place in Kentucky. The NYS 4-H Horse Program National teams travel together on a four-day bus trip to the contest and for horse-related tours in the area. Contestants choosing to participate in the National Contest will be asked to cover a portion of the cost of the trip. Senior contestants should come to the contest prepared to decide if they will participate in the national contest if they receive a top placing.

For more information

For more information, contact your local 4-H county educator, sab423 [at] cornell.edu (Sarah Wilhelm), NYS 4-H Horse Communications Chairperson or jms943 [at] cornell.edu (Jessica Tyson), NYS 4-H Horse Educational Events Coordinator!