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Hippology Contest


The North Dakota 4-H hippology contest provides an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H equine projects to demonstrate their knowledge of equine science-related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. Hippology is an activity that can make learning fun for 4-H members by letting them exhibit their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry. This is an excellent way to further involve 4-H’ers interested in equine activities. Youth build their knowledge of equine science, management, safety, welfare and ethics as they prepare for this contest. They then apply this knowledge in practical ways through hippology contests and hands-on learning. Youth are tested on all aspects of the horse and equine industry. Competition in hippology encourages 4-H members to develop a more complete knowledge of animals and related subjects and is an excellent way to develop self-confidence and excellent teamwork skills. This contest provides an educational program for all project members, including those who may not own a project animal. Teams compete in four different phases:

  1. Examination phase
  2. Station phase
  3. Judging phase
  4. Team problem

The winning 4-H senior team from the state 4-H hippology contest will have a choice to represent North Dakota at the national 4-H hippology contest at the Western National Roundup in Denver, Colo., in January.

Objectives and Outcomes

  • Stimulate learning in equine science and the agricultural industry
  • Have youth develop positive interests and attitudes about equine science and related careers
  • Have youth gain a base of knowledge of equine science projects
  • Have youth utilize skills and abilities to solve everyday situations
  • Reward 4-H members for knowledge gained in a subject matter area
  • Provide a competitive setting in which attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail
  • Allow participants to process information, analyze complex problems and make informed decisions regarding current agricultural, environmental, equine science and equine industry issues
  • Develop teamwork, self-confidence, public speaking and decision-making skills
  • Have participants seek out higher education opportunities and careers related to equine science

Age Divisions

  • Senior division must be 14 to18 years old on Dec. 31.
  • Intermediate division are ages 11 to 13 on Dec. 31.
  • Junior division is for members 8 years of age before Sept. 1, to age 10.
  • If a junior wants to move up to the intermediate division or a beginner hippology participant who is an intermediate would like to move down to a junior division, this is permitted.

Who May Enter

  • Contestants must be enrolled in North Dakota 4-H (4hOnline) as a full-time member in the county they represent for the state 4-H contest. Short-term 4-H members are not eligible to compete at the state level.
  • 4-H teams will consist of three or four participants in the same age division.
  • Youth may enter as individuals or as a team member. All participants are eligible for individual awards.
  • Each team will consist of three or four participants from the same county. Counties may combine to form a team, provided neither county has more than two participants. Combination teams must preregister together. A team of three may not pick up a fourth member from another county.
    • Both counties and coaches from the different teams must approve combining of individuals for a team.
  • North Dakota counties are invited to enter as many teams as desired. On teams consisting of four members, all will compete; however, the lowest score in each phase will be dropped. For those teams consisting of three members, all members' scores will count in determining individual and team awards.
  • Individuals with disabilities are invited to request reasonable accommodations to participate in NDSU sponsored programs and events. To request accommodations, please contact Holly Halvorson at 701- 231-7251 or by the MONDAY before he contest to make arrangements.
  • 4-H members are not eligible for the state 4-H contest if:
    • They have participated in a previous national 4-H hippology contest
    • They have participated in official post-secondary (university, college, junior college or technical school) competitive events of a similar nature in the same subject matter area. Neither can they be a member of a post-secondary team undergoing training in
      preparation of an event.


Please preregister online at

  • Click on “event registration and information (looks like a calendar) and navigate to the contest date.
  • Register by deadline set in, to avoid a late registration charge. Changes and substitutions may be made at registration on the day of the contest. Lunch is not provided.
  • To register, use your North Dakota county 4-H number (located on the LAST page of this document). Use “ND” in your username and password. Example: If my county number is 7777, I would put ND7777 for the username and ND7777 for the password. Do not change passwords!
  • Because lunch is not provided, the cost is as follows:
    • Junior - $3 per four participants
    • Intermediate - $3 per four participants
    • Senior - $3 per person
Rules and Procedures
Guides and Resources