JAMESTOWN - Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County's 4-H Horse Program annually offers a public presentation contest known as Horse Communications. Youth participants prepare speeches, demonstrations, team presentations, videos, or perform impromptu speeches. This year, Chautauqua County 4-H had 19 county horse presentations, seven of which were selected to advance to the regional competition.
Public speaking teaches youth to be confident, assertive, youth gain the ability to think and speak in front of a large group, develop poise and self confidence. At the Regional event, Chautauqua County youth will meet and compete against youth from Wyoming, Orleans, Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Erie County. More than 30 horse presentations will take place at Regional Horse Communications in Cuba. Youth present in four separate categories at the junior, 14 years of age and under, and senior 14-19 years of age, levels. The top four participants in each category will advance to the state competition.
The public speaking section of the contest requires youth to research, design, and deliver a seven to 10 minute presentation without props or posters.
The individual presentations are nine to 12 minutes long and may be a demonstration or illustrated talk. A demonstration is defined as a presentation of a step-by-step procedure with an end product or result. An illustrated talk is defined as a presentation of an idea or topic that uses visual aids to convey the message. Visual aids may include but are not limited to handouts, posters, props, videos, slides, and computer generated media (PowerPoint, websites, etc.).
Team presentations may be illustrated talks or demonstrations as well. Youth present in teams of two for 10 to 15 minutes.
The following youth have been invited to advance to the regional horse communications event: Emily Markham, Fredonia Star Riders; Stephanie Rogers, Fredonia Star Riders; Mikayla Reynolds, Chautauqua County Junior Trail Riders; Gracie Morrison, Chautauqua County Junior Trail Riders; Rachel McCarthy, Chautauqua County Junior Trail Riders; Sarah Burgoon, Fredonia Star Riders; Ashley Crandall, Chautauqua County Trail Riders; and Kendra Hockran, Fluvanna Farmyard Friends.
Horse Skills contests will continue throughout the summer with Regional Hippology, State Horse Bowl, State Hippology, State Communications and into the fall with national contests. To learn more about the 4-H Horse Program in Chautauqua County, contact the 4-H Office at 664-9502, Ext. 214.