4-H Champions Challenge – an invitation of excellence
By Patti Brockman, For the Antigo Times
Champions Challenge participants are invited to the Wisconsin State Fair by the State Fair board with input from the Wisconsin 4-H Horse Project Leaders. Invitations are extended to youth who have demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and horsemanship skills at the previous year’s State 4-H Horse Events. Youth are selected based on placing, time, score and judges’ comments in their grade level. Once again, members of the Langlade County Horse & Pony Project met this exceptional level of excellence and were invited to the 2018 Wisconsin State Fair to represent Langlade County in this challenge of champions.
Zoe Brockman, Erica Wolf and Jodi Wolf were invited to the 2018 Wisconsin State Fair to compete against other champions from around the state in Gymkhana, timed equestrian events of pattern racing, barrels, pole bending, LT Special, plug, flag and keyhole. As you can imagine, the competition was tough, with champions from all over the state racing against each other as individuals and with each other on teams; a true test of sportsmanship. Many times the difference between the first place and next place rider was less than one/one-hundredth of a second!
Zoe, Erica and Jodi brought home a total of 11 / top 10 placings in their classes, with Erica having the second fastest time in Pole Bending and Jodi Wolf having the second fastest time in Barrels. Zoe and Erica’s “yellow helmet” team was awarded the Reserve Champion Team title while Jodi’s “Red Helmet” Team was awarded the Grand Champion Team title. Champion and Reserve Team placings are determined based on the top individual placings from each team in each competition.
Approximately a thousand spectators and supporters filled the Case IH Coliseum at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. The shouts and cheers were heard throughout the park as horses and riders raced against the clock. It was a great experience for our Langlade County 4-H Horse & Pony project youth and their parents and supporters. Thank you to the Langlade County community members who supported the Horse & Pony project throughout the year. Your support encourages our 4-H youth to be champions.