Participants ranked four horses based on the criteria of each class. Halter classes require participants to assess the horses' conformation, using sex and breed characteristics, structure, balance and muscling. Competitors must know the gait requirements for performance classes and judge the horses' quality of movement.
Macon County won the non-reasons division with team members Mary Hubbard, Tori Koin and Jenna Ward.
The top non-reasons division individuals were Samantha Briscoe of Clay County, 1st; Mary Hubbard of Macon County, 2nd; Josie McAllister of Clay County, 3rd; Amy Monroe of Macon County, 4th; Krista Colthurst of McLean County, 5th; Katie Sanders of Kankakee County, 5th; Kayla Colthurst of McLean County, 6th; Cameron Schwark of Kankakee County, 6th; Jake Sanders of Kankakee County, 7th; Rachel Lowrance of McLean County, 8th; Sydney Boehm of Shelby County, 9th; and Andrew Mathis of Shelby County, 9th; and Ethan Lankford of Macon County, 10th.
Competitors in the reasons division presented two sets of oral reasons.
"Contestants provide a two-minute verbal defense justifying how they placed a class, using the correct terminology for the class and the breed," said U of I Extension equine specialist Debra Hagstrom.
McLean County team members Morgan Marquis, Danie Reece, Courtney Wright and Shelby Mason won the reasons division.
The top individuals in the reasons division were Morgan Marquis of McLean County, 1st; Kaitlyn Dudding of Kendall County, 2nd; Makaela Mason of Knox County, 2nd; Danie Reece of McLean County, 3rd; Megan Richter of Carroll County, 4th; Courtney Wright of McLean County, 4th; Molly McGhee of DuPage County, 5th; Shelby Mason of McLean County, 6th; Kelsey Engel of DuPage County, 7th; Alexis Patinos of DuPage County, 7th; Mary Francque of Carroll County, 8th; Randi Kleckler of Carroll County, 9th; and Susie Thompson of Kane County, 10th.
The Illinois 4-H Horse Judging Team semi-finalists will compete at an invitational contest held in Springfield on Thursday, July 28. Ten finalists will be invited to a private judging session with Hagstrom to determine the four-member traveling team that will represent the state at two national competitions, at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and the Eastern National 4-H Horse Roundup in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 5.