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

2023 NYS 4-H Horse Program Hippology Contest

Contest Information

Once again, this year’s NYS 4-H Horse Hippology Contest will be held in-person in conjunction with the NYS 4-H Horse Judging Contest in the 4-H Youth Arena at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY!!  Youth may participate in both the Horse Judging and Hippology events!!!

Date:  Sunday, August 27, 2023

Time:  TBD

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

Parking:  Attention CCE staff with youth participating in this event - your county office will be responsible for distributing parking passes and gate tickets to their youth participating.

Divisions:  The State Contest will consist of Junior and Senior Divisions.

Qualifying:  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.

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

Registrations must be completed by County 4-H Educators or Staff.  Choose the category below to register youth.

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

National Contest and Team Selection:

  • Four (4) high-placing Senior individual contestants will be invited to represent NYS in the National 4-H Hippology Contest based on rank, availability for the contest, and confirmed eligibility.
  • The National Contest is usually the first weekend in November and takes place in Kentucky during the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup. 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

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