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Guest Opinions

Extension by Amy McLean

Written by Amy McLean
Wyoming State Youth Equine Show – Undergoing Upgrades for 2012
Amy McLean, UW Extension Equine Specialist

    This year’s Wyoming State Fair (WSF) will celebrate its 100th year anniversary! Many extra events will commemorate the 100 years of Wyoming tradition at this year’s fair.
    Along with the excitement surrounding the anniversary, several updates have taken place to this year’s schedule for the WSF Youth Equine Show. The show’s official title has been essentially upgraded to include all equine. In the past the show was referred to as a horse show, and the idea behind the youth show is to encourage youth to participate in equine projects in FFA or 4-H. No matter if they have a pony, mustang, donkey, mule or horse, participation is strongly encouraged regardless of how big or small your equine’s ears may be or its pedigree.  Along with updating the name of the event, several other changes have taken place, such as adding two new classes to the class line-up: Western pleasure and hunter under saddle for all age divisions.  
    These two classes were added with the hopes of encouraging more participation on a county level, which would hopefully then give youth an additional class or two to participate in at the State Fair.
    Another change to increase participation this year includes allowing both first and second place winners (within 4-H and FFA) to attend State Fair. This should also increase the chances of youth having a shot at competing at state fair!  Other updates include updating the programmed ride tests to now follow Training Level Dressage tests provided by the United States Equestrian Federation, as well as offering a pattern book to each county and FFA advisor in advance of the show so youth can start practicing for pattern classes.  The show will also refer to the American Quarter Horse Association Handbook until an updated handbook is available from the youth organizations.  
    The AQHA Handbook is available for free at aqha.com/About/Content-Pages/About-the-Association/AQHA-Handbook.aspx. There’s even an app for those who have smart phones.  
    A few other features of this year’s WSF Youth Equine Show to encourage learning and participation include adding a free educational clinic on showmanship and horsemanship on Aug. 13 afternoon and an equine science and management test. The test will be administered to those wishing to test their knowledge about equine and will cover topics such as nutrition, health and management. We hope the updates will only improve the learning and showing experience for the youth of Wyoming in the equine project area.  
    Also, before you leave home for State Fair be sure to check the new health recommendations to help improve equine biosecurity from WSF.  This year the WSF asks equine owners to provide a current negative Coggins test as well as a health certificate.  The Coggins test shows that an animal is either positive or (hopefully) negative for equine infectious anemia (EIA), which is a fatal and infectious disease that can be transmitted by mosquitoes.  If an equine has EIA the animal is often euthanized or quarantined for life depending on the state and their regulations. So, having this document showing your equine is free of this disease is important to all participating at the show.  The health paper will indicate if your equine is in a healthy state or not. Temperature is often recorded on the health papers to help monitor infectious diseases.  The horse’s temperature will range from 99 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit, a donkey generally runs a little lower at 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit and a mule close to 99.5 degrees.  
    These measurements a health paper and current Coggins are being put in place to help protect your equine and decrease exposure to infectious diseases while competing at the State Fair.  Also, consider consulting with your veterinarian about your equine’s vaccination program.   
    More information about the 100th Year Wyoming State Fair can be found at wystatefair.com.  If you have any questions regarding the WSF Youth show or the UW Equine Program, email Amy McLean at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or reach her by phone at 307-766-4373.