Five members of Tempe’s Buena Vista Mavericks 4-H Club were among the Arizona 4-H delegates who helped Arizona take seventh place High State at the Western National Roundup in Denver.
The “Horse Classic” pitted the “best of the best” 4-Hers from 32 states and Alberta, Canada, against each other in individual and team competition in horse knowledge and presentation.
Shea Bontrager, Phoenix, a second-year member of the 4-H Horse Project club which meets in south Tempe’s Buena Vista Ranchos equestrian neighborhood, took third place in the demonstration competition, with a passionate presentation on barrel racing.
Mavericks comprised three out of five members of the Horse Bowl team, which took seventh place in the event. The group includes Haley Zipay, Ahwatukee; Brittany Gerald and Hannah Brzezinski, Chandler. They were teamed with Marie Hodges, Gilbert, and Nikki McNatt, Chandler, both members of Spirit of Queen Creek 4-H in the contest, which is best likened to a team version of “Jeopardy,” featuring horse facts.
Maverick Molly Brzezinski of Chandler competed on the horse judging team. Kyia Lively, a member of Green Team 4-H in Phoenix, took fourth place in the speech competition with a talk on equine stem cell therapy.
This was the 93rd year for the Western National Roundup, which is held at the beginning of the National Western Stock Show. The theme was “Leadership Across America,” with the event designed to empower the 600-plus participants to use the skills and knowledge gained during their Denver experience to return to their communities. Delegates, who earned their standing through their performance in local and regional contests, took part in workshops, tours and social events, as well as the tough competition.
Buena Vista Mavericks members meet twice monthly for riding meetings and to plan horse shows and educational events, conduct community service projects, business meetings and other activities.
Story & photo by Tracy Zipay