Islander competes in national 4-H competition

By Emalia Hinden-Stevenson

For The Beachcomber

The Vashon Rock Riders 4-H club sent accomplished equestrian Lizzy Corliss to Kentucky this month to compete in the 4-H national horse judging finals. Corliss, 17, worked very hard to qualify for this prestigious event, and looked forward to it all year. Only one other 4-H member from Washington, Nora Gyswyt, qualified to go to the competition, and together they competed against 200 teams from all over the country.

The competition, which took place on Nov. 6 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, was an all-day event where Corliss judged between eight and 10 classes of horses and provided written and oral reasons for how she placed them.

During the judging event, the Washington team competed in several other contests, including Hippology, which includes taking a horse knowledge test, judging horse classes, matching names of equipment and even giving a short presentation, and Horse Bowl, in which contestants demonstrate very detailed information about an equine project.

Corliss was pleased with her and Gyswyt's performance at the competition.

“Our Hippology team was bringing in ribbons like nobody’s business, along with the demonstration team,” she said. “And then my judging team got 10th in Overall Oral Reasons out of 21, so we were pretty excited.”

The Vashon Rock Riders stress good horsemanship and knowledge of horses. If you would like to learn more about the Vashon Rock Riders judging program, or the 4-H experience in general, contact Marie Bradley at 463-2065 or Cindi Vance at 463-5507 or e-mail

— Emalia Hinden-Stevenson is 13 years old and a member of the Vashon Rock Riders 4-H club.

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