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Horse Demonstration/Illustrated Talks


The North Dakota 4-H Horse Demonstration contest is designed to encourage youth to teach others how to do something related to horses while utilizing visuals and equipment correctly. With a demonstration, you are describing to your audience “how to” do a particular activity. In this contest, you will use visual aids to demonstrate how to accomplish what you are excited to teach in a step-by-step procedure with an end product or result. An illustrated talk is defined as a presentation of an idea or topic of the horse industry that uses visual aids to convey the message. This contest fosters confidence in youths’ ability to present information in a logical and concise manner, building their public speaking skills. Furthermore, by participating in this contest, youth will increase their level of equine knowledge. Besides helping youth become responsible and educated horse people, this contest helps youth build strong leadership skills, and gain valuable communication and decision-making skills.

The winning 4-H senior team and individual will have a choice to represent North Dakota at the Western National Roundup 4-H horse demonstration contest in Denver, Colo.

Objectives and Outcomes:

  • Stimulate learning in equine science and the horse industry.
  • Youth develop positive interests and attitudes about equine science and related careers.
  • Youth gain a base of knowledge of equine science projects.
  • Youth will utilize skills and abilities to solve everyday situations.
  • Reward 4-H members for knowledge gained in a subject matter area.
  • Provide a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail.
  • Participants will process information, analyze complex problems and make informed decisions regarding current equine health, safety, welfare, ethics and other equine industry-related issues.
  • Youth develop teamwork, self-confidence, public speaking and decision-making skills.
  • An increased number of participants seek higher education opportunities and careers related to animal or equine science.

Who May Enter

  • Contestants must be enrolled in North Dakota 4-H (4honline) as a full-time member in the county they represent. Short-term 4-H members are not eligible to compete at the state level.
  • Participants may enter as an individual or as a team. A team consists of two members.
  • 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 two weeks prior to the contest to make arrangements.
  • 4-H members are not eligible for this contest if:
    • They have judged at the national 4-H horse demonstration 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 for an event.

Age Requirements

Each age division is considered a separate contest, and youth may enter one of the following divisions:

  • Junior 4-H division: Youth 8 years of age before Sept. 1, to age 13 as of Dec. 31.
  • Senior 4-H division: Youth ages 14 to 18 as of Dec. 31, and enrolled in North Dakota 4-H as a full-time 4-H member (not a short-term member)
    • The senior first-place team and the individual overall in the state 4-H demonstration/illustrated talk contest has the option to represent North Dakota at the Western National Roundup contest in Denver, Colo. The team is awarded $200 and the individual will be awarded $100 from the North Dakota 4-H Foundation to help with travel expenses. Contestants already must have passed their 14th birthday and may not have reached their 19th birthday as of Jan. 1 of the year in which the national 4-H competitive event is held. However, the state 4-H leader may grant a special authorization to compete for youth with developmental disabilities who exceed the upper age limit. To request funding for the national 4-H demonstration/illustrated talk contest  The Extension agent in the county of the representative team will need to write a formal letter to the North Dakota 4-H Foundation director, Penny Dale, ( and copy the state 4-H animal science specialist at on the email as well. Request funds for $200/$100. Include: who the 4-H Foundation should write the check to, where to mail the check, the names of those competing on the team, and the name and date of the national event.

County agents and coaches are responsible for determining the age and member eligibility of participants in the state 4-H contest from their respective clubs.


  • Registration will go through 4H-Online.
  • Register by late registration date to avoid extra charges. Changes and substitutions may be made at registration on the day of the contest.
  • Lunch is provided; add the number of lunches needed for coaches/chaperones/etc.
  • Registration cost: $5* per individual/team. *Costs are subject to change based on expenses that year and the area where contest is hosted

Make checks payable to 4-H Foundation and send to:
NDSU, ATTN: Holly Halvorson, Dept. 7280 FLC 219. PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108.