Cattaraugus County 4-H Horse program has good start

ELLICOTTVILLE – The 4-H horse program is off to a good start with educational contests.

On Feb. 15 at the Ellicottville Central School, the program kicked off the year with public presentations. Organizers set up a special room for the Regional Horse Communications, a contest where youth speak/present on a horse topic in front of judges.

The winners go on to represent Cattaraugus County at the region contest held this year in Cuba on April 5. Contestants Megan Stang (Perrysburg), Baileigh Loucks (Black Creek), Hannah Stayer (Olean) and Sydney Smith (Randolph) will compete as junior presenters, while Courtney Preston (Little Valley), Danika Chiarilli (Cuba), Dustin Emerson (West Valley) and Madilyn Turano (Little Valley) will represent the county as senior presenters.

Sunny Chiarilli (Cuba) and Savannah Wilson (Ischua) will compete in the team presentations and Andrew Stady (Allegany) will compete in public speaking. The winners at regionals will continue on to states in May at Cornell University in Ithaca.

On March 15, Cattarau-gus County brought 17 contestants who excelled at the County Horse Bowl to the Regional Contest at JCC in Olean. The kids had a blast testing their knowledge of horses in a competitive quiz bowl contest.

The teams did well. The novice team took second, the junior team third and the senior team fourth. Placings were as follows: Novice – 10th Alexis Tunstal (Forestville), 9th Nick Thomas (Lawtons), 8th Nathan Kwaitkowski (Olean), 5th Aliyah Bissonnette (Little Valley), 3rd Sunny Chiarilli (Cuba) and 2nd Rylyn Tunstall (Forestville); Juniors – 7th Kerianne Alpin (Machias), 6th Delaney Tunstall (Forestville) and 5th Ben Besok of (Allegany). Senior Andrew Stady (Alllegany) placed 5th. Andrew, Ben, Delaney and Kerianne will continue on to states in Ithaca on April 12 to compete for nationals.

The next regional contest will be the Hippology event in East Aurora on April 26. A special thank you to all the parents and coaches of our youth for your volunteered service to the horse program, all the judges at the public presentations, and Pattie Bailey (Allegany) for hosting the Regional Horse Bowl contest.

For additional information on the Cattaraugus County 4-H program, contact Katlyn Santangelo at or via phone at 699-2377 Ext: 120.