By Polly Keary, Editor
For many lovers of horses, the trip that Lorin Stewart of Monroe is about to take would be a dream-come-true.
She and two other friends from her 4H horse club Ultimate Equines are going to Louisville, Ky., and will tour Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, will visit one of the nation’s premier horse veterinaries, and will explore farms in the nation’s thoroughbred capitol.
That is because those girls are part of a team of 4H girls that won a state competition in knowledge of horses.
“Lorin has been in 4H for five or six years now,” said her mother, Natalie Freeman. “We’re part of Ultimate Equines in Monroe and we meet at Alfy’s once a month. We have between eight and 12 girls, depending on the year.”
Most the kids don’t have their own horses, but instead use horses belonging to their trainers.
But even without having a horse at home, the girls, most of whom go to Sky Valley Education Center, have become experts on all things equine.
“It’s interesting; they have been doing Horse Bowl, which is a knowledge contest,” said Freeman. “There are four or five contests a year at the WSU Extension Office and they add up all of the points and the top people go to State.”
In order to do well, kids have to know all about the structure of a horse, and the colors, breeds and skills horses can have, among other things.
The girls compete as individuals, and three of the members of Ultimate Equines, including Stephanie Garver, Lauren McGuire and Lorin Stewart, were among the six top Snohomish County scorers who qualified to go to State.
The Snohomish County team then won at State, and now will represent Washington State at the Eastern National Roundup, the national competition, Nov. 9 and 10.
But because it’s such a rare opportunity, the girls are going to go a little bit early and stay a couple extra days.
“It’s a really big deal,” said Freeman. “We are excited to see some of these things that these girls never see.”